« Kubiak: Touch passes come with experience | Main | Dolphins feelings on Davis, Smith show Sunday »

The simplest, most direct route to the playoffs

At the risk of saying what is terribly complex is actually quite easy to figure out, I would tell you the Dolphins greatest and best chance of making the playoffs is based on one simple three-part scenario.

If you study the scenario on this YahooSports NFL playoffs scenario generator you will see the Dolphins might find themselve back in Foxboro in a few week for a third meeting against the Patriots if three things happen:

1. The Dolphins win out. They do this, we're on our way. They fail to do this, forget everything. So Miami must beat Houston this weekend and Pittsburgh next weekend. Both are home games. This is doable.

One ominous warning, however: I have found no scenario where the Dolphins make the playoffs at 8-8. If they lose this weekend, or next weekend, they are eliminated from the playoff chase. (I worked the scenario generator for 20 minutes to get to this conclusion. If you find a scenario in which and 8-8 Miami makes it, please post it, but I don't think it exists.) 

There is one scenario where the Dolphins make it at 8-7-1 but that's a reach. The Jaguars, interestingly enough, can make the playoffs at 8-8 under one scenario.

But I digress. Back to the original scenario:

2. The Patriots beat Jacksonville this weekend. This is also quite doable. The Patriots are favored against Jacksonville. They have a better record than Jacksonville. And it's a home game for the Pats.

3. Pittsburgh beat Baltimore this weekend. This one is huge. The Dolphins are currently trailing Baltimore in the tie-breakers. But if Pittsburgh makes the Ravens squack, the tie-breaker reverts to Miami -- assuming two victories by the locals. Obviously the Steelers would be in after this weekend and Miami would still be on the outside. But a Miami victory in the final week of the season -- assumed above -- corrects that issue.

It is also vital that Baltimore loses to Pittsburgh. If the Ravens beat Pittsburgh this week but lose to Oakland next week, they still get in ahead of Miami. This is key.

So there it is. The simplest, most direct route to the playoffs for the Dolphins.

You don't have to worry about the Jets, even if they win their final two games. They would not qualify. You don't have to worry about Denver, even if they win their final two games. They would be the No. 5 seed while Miami picks up the sixth seed.

And you don't have to worry about New England. They would win the AFC East and host the Dolphins.


[I stand corrected, the Dolphins make it at 8-8 assuming they beat Pittsburgh, Jacksonville ends up 7-9 and Baltimore loses to Oakland and Pittsburgh. Unlikely to say the least, but I guess it is remotely possible.]


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The simplest, most direct route to the playoffs:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Were goin to the superbowl!!!!! It's gonna happen.never give up!

Playoffs here we come!!!!!

I posted this exact information in the last blog and the URL you have in the article...did you get this information from me?

Finatic - We need to worry about the playoffs before we start talking SuperBowl. Small steps my friend, small steps! One game at a time...

According to the Yahoo generator the Broncos don't hold all the tie breakers that I've heard stated. Unless Yahoo is not accurate the Dolphins have a realistic chance at the 5th seed. That would happen if Miami wins out, Pittsburgh beats Baltimore and KC beats Denver.

What about if Titans win their final two games?

I hate when sperano talks about not worry about what else is going on with the league. I think the teams should know exactly what needs to happen to get in the playoffs.we have not beat Houston yet so a Win would be great momentum vs steelers. I believe!

It depends on what Jacksonville does, if a tie breaker has 3 or more, only 1 of those 3 or more teams can come from the same divsion. For instance, the tie breaker can only have a max of 4 teams after the #1 tie breaking procedure...

Tony - Denver has to lose out for that to happen.


It took me about a minute and here is a link in which Miami would be 8-8 and be the 6th seed


Dear Mr. Salguero

The only legitimate chance the Dolphins have to make the playoffs is for Mr. Ross to pay the Ref's more money they are currently receiving from Kraft/Buchum/Goodell.

Soiled :)

In this scenario, what happens if Tennessee wins out? Don't they need to lose to San Diego this weekend as well?

No they don't Indiana. The Philly game is irrelevant if KC beats Denver according to Yahoo.

Ravens lose out, Broncos lose out, Jaguars lose out, Jets lose 1 of 2 (doesn't matter which game they win or lose), Titans lose 1 of 2 (doesn't matter which game they win or lose), Houston lose 1 of 2 (we have to beat them, because we cant lose to Steelers and beat Houston or Steelers win tie breaker), Steelers lose 1 of 2 (we have to beat them

We cannot win against Houston, but lose to Pittsburg because Pittsburg 8-8 record would beat us in tie breaker...


No because of conference record is horrible, unless its just us and them in last week, we win the tie breaker, with tenn, unless its straight up, but im sure they will drop one this week anyways.

You are correct Tony...


Indiana found the scenario for Miami to make it in at 8-8. Thanks, Indiana. I stand corrected.

josh - Titans will lose any tie breaker except to Steelers that includes 3 or more teams due to conference record. All of there 7 losses are in the AFC, which is the most by any AFC team currently


That will cost you a drink (I am over 21) somewhere if Miami ends up coming to Indianapolis for round 2 of playoffs, because I know you will be in town for the game right?

I did say IF, cause I know that is reaching a little bit since we would have to win 3 games between now and then...

Here is a question for everyone, would you rather play @NE or @Cincy first round of playoffs??

Soiled that is the smartest and most accurate thing I have ever seen you post...finally LOL

agreed, the refs could use some of those yellow envelopes coming from Ross.

Good work, Mando.

Merry Christmas to you and your family.

I enjoy your work and insight.

While people might disagree on football topics, I think everyone on this blog appreciates your effort and work.

God Bless.

That's a good one soiled. Well, the bottom line is, we have got to defeat Houston by double covering him all game and blitzing all game; delayed,fake and full blitzing. We will need to do this against Pittsburgh too. Henne must remember to run out of the pocket when he sees it collapsing; throwing to the runningbacks when the other teams are blitzing. Henne should run more himself when it is open.

Oh, I forgot to mention, I think it is better for Jacksonville to defeat the patriots because I do not think the patriots will win again thus surrendering the division to the dolphins.

I know I appreciate the work Armando puts in .It has got to be a very tough job writing articles for the world to see and then second guess yourself if you made a legitimate statement .Great job Armando!One question I have is this.....When the season ends, do we get to keep using this Dolphins app,or how does it work?I've got no problem signing up again as long as you don't hike the price up too much.

You don't have to worry about the Jets.... when do we ever worry about the wets-- ha ha

bond, david bond -

I totally disagree! The division is out of the question...

i believe the tenn game is important for us if baltimore beats pittsburg. If Tenn is still in the hunt, and Oakland beats Baltimore in this scenario, we are out.

If Tennessee loses to SD, then the Baltimore v. Oakland game will have a different meaning. In this case we'll WANT Oakland to beat Tennessee.

So bottom line, Tennessee losing to SD will give us more options at getting in if Pitt LOSES to Baltimore.

Here is a question for everyone, would you rather play @NE or @Cincy first round of playoffs??

Posted by: Indiana Dolfan | December 23, 2009 at 03:33 PM
at this point i dont think there are many teams that can play the DOLPHINS for a full 60 mins. I just witness the domination of a TITANS that was unreal. even though we loss, it took the help from the refs to swing the game in their favor. do you realize that,they did not gain 1 yard before kicking gm winning field goal,chris johnson looked as if he didnt want no more,not to mention we broke up their defense. if we dont beat ourselves, we will outlast every team in the league i BELIEVE

Did you know Miami could be a #3 seed...


NE lose out, Bengals lose out and Miami wins out

Indiana the patriot's defense sucks. Andre Johnson will kill their secondary. Our secondary will double johnson and keep him in check unless they are overworked in practice which could happen; then we will not win another game. At this point, the coaches should reduce the physical part of practice in half hence forth. In this way, the players can play at a high level for four quarter.

phinfan from birth73 - very good point, but we do beat ourselves! It has been 4th quarter meltdowns in all but the last 3 games in which we went 2-1 and the last loss was our fault(3 turnovers in at minimum field goal range)

i think houston game will be a big test for SEAN SMITH. I HOPE HE WILL TACKLE!!!!!!!!!!!!

bond, david bond - Do you realize that we have NEVER beat the Texans and Andre Johnson has killed us every year. Do you remember that 4th down catch last year he made with 2 guys all over him playing great defense??

Smith or Davis...depends on who is covering him?

Armando - you never did answer my question from earlier...


Oakland to beat Baltimore.

*Plus NE Must beat Jax. That's the big one after our game...

Our path is like this:

We win out AND

1. NE beats Jax AND Pitt beats Baltimore.


2. SD beats Tenn AND NE beats Jax AND Balt beats Pitt AND Oakland beats Balt (final weekend)


3. SD beats Tenn AND NE beats Jax AND Balt beats Pitt AND Balt beats Oakland AND KC beats Denver.

I believe under scenario #3 if Denver lost to Phili, but beat KC, we might still be alive because of strength of victory. KC would only count as three wins..

Also, if Cinci loses their final two, that would give the division to Baltimore and THAT would be another avenue...

if i was coach i would put smith on him and spy him with a safety and put vonte on the other wr.

Well, we did not have the strength and height that we have now in our secondary. We need to be physical with johnson at the line of scrimmage which will give our defense an extra half second to get to the quarterback. This is what the forty niners did to the marx brother in the superbowl or it would have been a pure shootout between dan the man and momtana. Who knows who would have won the game then?

if we win out we in!!!! nuff said

I have been saying since last Sunday that the Phins still get in at 9-7 if tied with Balt and Denver, but nobody believed me. Now I see they still get in at 8-8 under certain circumstances. GO PHINS!!!!! Win 'em both and screw everybody else!!!!!


I would rather play cincinnati only because we have not played them this season... Pats dolphins scare me

I we grab 2 starting LBs this draft!!!!!!!!! that all i want for X-MAS

Steelers’ Polamalu still can’t practice on injured knee - That is great news, because we DON'T want him playing next week...

phinfan from birth73 - not true, we still need help if we win out

I had told some friends here in Indianapolis 2-3 weeks ago that 9-7 would make the playoffs and everyone thought I was nuts...

I we grab 2 starting LBs this draft!!!!!!!!! that all i want for X-MAS

Posted by: phinfan from birth73 | December 23, 2009 at 04:05 PM
I hope we

Dolphan0421 - I AGREE...

Even though Cincy would be tough @Cincy, I would still feel better playing the BUNGALS...

damn we left at less 6 games open for debate this year!!

Falcons,pats,indy,titans,saints and bills(hurt the most) are all debatable losses. Chargers i think,they just out worked us. THIS REALLY HURT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PLAYOFFS ??? PLAYOFFS ?? Playoffs ??

Indiana we do want polamalu playing this week against baltimore because he will ensure a win against the ravens and then he will reinjure himself and not play against the dolphins which will ensure us a victory.

the only wat for dolphins to make the playoffs ,only if we switch HENNE for BRADY without any one taking notice .

we were lucky this year we are not 5/9

Reality check. Even if we make it to the playoffs, how far do you think we'll go?

To me, one and done is worse than not making it. All it says is, we're not good enough to be there.

NFL coaches are in a tight spot. Conference championships give them some breathing room...they're pretty much guaranteed a job the next year.

Fact is, we're not good enough yet. Parcells knows it, but won't say. Does he say anything anymore? Come down off your throne and speak to the unwashed masses Bill.

my name is bond, james bond .

bond , david bond, would be nice if you pick another name .

We are good enough. If maimi had defeated Tenneesse last week then you would not feel that way Cocoajoe. If henne had not played that last series like it was a two minute drill, miami would have won that game. I could not believe he was throwing the ball deep in our own territory. You are asking for trouble when you do something that STUPID. I flipped out when he did that and time was not an issue. If he had waited until they reached the fifty yard line then it would not matter nearly as much because if they fumbled or threw an interception, it would have been equivelent to them punting the football.

We can control our own wild card destiny on Week 17 if the following events happen this week:

We beat HOU; TEN loses, JAX loses, BAL loses.

Now if Denver manages to win out then PIT can ONLY get a wild card on week 17 IF Baltimore loses at Oakland (while also beating us) - this could affect motivation if our game is on SNF.

I think this the easiest and least stressful path for us as we can't count on Pats to lose two in a row and we also can't count of Jax to lose to Cleveland, for Titans to lose to SEA, or for DEN to lose against KC.


No one gives us any respect,that's for sure.I keep hearing about this Andre Johnson guy from Houston and how he is going to light up our secondary,but If I'm not mistaken ,I also heard the same thing about Moss the second time we played NE.V Davis is no pushover and I expect him to be the difference maker in this game.

I disagree Cocoajoe.We ARE good enough.

I don't think we will need to worry about Tenneesee after the friday night game. I wish they would have planned a double header friday and saturday. In this way we will have a more solid view on sunday how this thing will play out.

We need to just worry about us and the rest will fall into place

1 2 3 »

The comments to this entry are closed.