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Examining the Dolphins' playoff permutations; Monday Dolphins notes

There will be no poring over playoff permutations at Dolphins headquarters this week, no mathematical analysis of odds.

But Dolphins fans are certainly encouraged to do that, and this should give them hope:

 Not only are the Dolphins playing their best football since September, but Baltimore --- their chief challenger for the final AFC playoff spot --- faces a daunting schedule.

Whereas the 7-6 Dolphins play one quality team (the Patriots) and two with losing records (at Buffalo and home against the Jets), the 7-6 Ravens close with games against three division leaders: at Detroit, New England and at Cincinnati.

So even though the Ravens would win a two-team tiebreaker against the Dolphins, playoffstatus.com actually gives the Dolphins a 55 percent chance of making the playoffs, compared with 33 percent for the Ravens.

But remember, the Dolphins need to finish with a better record than Baltimore should those two teams --- and only those two teams -- finish tied for the final playoff berth.

A half-dozen additional points to keep in mind on Miami’s playoff chances:

### The Dolphins would win a two-team tiebreaker with San Diego by virtue of their victory over the the Chargers (6-7). But even though the Chargers still have a chance for the final AFC wild card berth, a strong case could be made for the Dolphins to root for them to win.

Here’s why: If the Dolphins and Ravens finish 1-2 in their final three games, and if San Diego goes 2-1, the Dolphins would win a three-team tiebreaker if the Ravens’ two losses are against AFC teams (Patriots and Bengals).

Here’s why: In three-time tiebreakers, head-to-head is not used if all three teams are from different divisions and didn’t play each other. The Chargers and Ravens don’t play this season, which renders the Ravens’ win against the Dolphins moot in his scenario.

Conference record would then be used as the tiebreaker. And in this scenario –-- with Baltimore losing to the Pats and Bengals to close the season --– the Dolphins would have a better conference record than the Ravens or Chargers.

The Dolphins are 6-3 in the AFC, Baltimore 6-4 and San Diego 3-6.

San Diego’s three remaining games: at Denver and home against Oakland and Kansas City.

Incidentally, best won-loss percentage in common games would be the third three-team tiebreaker.

### If the Jets (5-7) finish tied with the Dolphins and Ravens for the final playoff spot, that wouldn’t help Miami. That’s because in three-team wild card ties involving two teams from the same division, the Jets/Dolphins tie would be resolved first.

If Miami won that tiebreaker (and that still has to play out), Baltimore would earn the nod based on beating Miami. The Jets, incidentally, finish with these games: at Carolina, home against Cleveland and at the Dolphins.

### The Dolphins would win the AFC East only if they win their final three games and the Patriots lose their final three. (Miami would win the tiebreaker based on superior division record in that scenario.)

The Patriots have two challenging games (at Dolphins, at Ravens), but will be heavily favored in their finale, at home against Buffalo.

### There’s still a chance the Ravens could catch the Bengals in the AFC North, which wouldn’t necessarily hurt Miami.

If Baltimore goes 3-0 and the Bengals go 1-2, the teams would be tied and Ravens would win the tiebreaker, presuming they win at Cincinnati in their season finale to sweep their season series. The Dolphins would then win a two-team head-to-head tiebreaker with Cincinnati if they’re tied for the last wild card spot.

Cincinnati’s remaining schedule: at Pittsburgh and home games against Minnesota and Baltimore.

### Dolphins fans will not be distracted by Ravens scores during Dolphins games the next two weeks. That’s because Baltimore will be playing in prime time: next Monday at Detroit, and the following Sunday night against the Patriots.

### If the Dolphins make the playoffs, they would almost assuredly be the No. 6 seed and play the No. 3 seed --- which would likely be Cincinnati or New England, if the Bengals can overtake the Patriots. The Colts still have a mathematical chance at the No. 3 seed despite losing to Cincinnati.

Couple other quick things:

### Lamar Miller left Sunday's game with a concussion, but his agent Drew Rosenhaus said on his WSVN-Fox segment on Sunday night that he expects Miller to play next Sunday. "He sounded pretty good," Rosenhaus said. "He thought he would be OK."

### The Dolphins gave Sam Brenner 48 snaps and Nate Garner 16 at left guard Sunday.

### The weekly Dion Jordan snap count update (beyond special teams, of course): He played 25 of Miami's 69 defensive snaps -- five on running plays, 14 in which he rushed the quarterback (he was credited with one hurry) and six in coverage.

### Back from a groin injury, Dimitri Patterson played sparingly (12 snaps).

### Please check back in a couple hours for updates from today's Dolphins press conferences.

 

Comments

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cool and the gang

Not much production from Dion Jordan this year.Good thing Vernon has stepped up to join Wake.Won t say he s a bust yet because it took Charles Clay a year to wake up,get focused too.Hopefully next year Jordan plays like the high draft pick he is.Jury still out on him though he seems to have the athleticism and speed and talent.Guess it s just being overwhelmed/adjusting to the NFL.Maybe he is JUST a linebacker after all and his College Coach had it all wrong.We ll see next year.

yuma

Mr. Barry Jackson, since you are the local guru of sports TV coverage, would you please ask the bozos at WSVN Channel 7 why they chose to air the Giants v. Chargers game, two boring losing teams going nowhere, instead of Seahawks v. 49ers, two contending teams.

Danny Thomas

Barry, I'm calling you and Armando out to see if you are journalists or part of the NFL's propaganda machine. My prediction for Sunday: Dolphins on the verge of beating Patriots, or the Dolphins make a game changing play to put them in position to win, the officials will make up phony penalties to help the Patriots win. This has been going on since 1996 and you guys in the media know it, but don't dare to expose the NFL fixing games for the Patriots and others, because it would bring the NFL down and you would have to get real jobs besides "covering sports" jobs. This post is time stamped, so when it happens next week, and I call it out a week before it happens will you be the journalist that I think you are and expose it, or will you and Armando continue to toe the NFL line and say "Dolphins stink, blah, blah, blah." Many other posters on Armando's site agree with me. The NFL and the Patriots have had something rotten going on for too long now, and everyone now around the country is talking about the NFL fixing games for the Patriots. They have most of their starting defense out plus their two TE's and their games are like professional wrestling. Do your jobs and expose the NFL's fixing of Patriots games and other games. When it happens on Sunday, and I have written about it today seven days before it happens... what will you do? Your integrity and Armando's is on the line. The NFL is corrupt. Stop it and go after it's anti-trust exemption. I'm tired of the Dolphins having any chance of achieving a small measure of success being thwarted by fake phony flags.

Patriots will also try to hurt key Dolphins players and refs will look the other way, it goes on year after year, and no one in the media has the stones to do anything about it.

Marios

Dion Jordan will be a very good player at worst, he is playing with one injured arm and will benefit from a year of lifting and getting healthier. On a punt return yesterday he destroyed his blocker to where the runner was tackled by his blocker smashing backwards into him.
In the 4th quarter, they were also standing him up in front of the center, couple of times he blitzed and others he blanketed the running back coming out of the backfield causing Big Ben to look elsewhere, pretty impressive what you can do with him.

If you just look at stats he was meaningless, but if you watched him and saw how the offense had to account for him it definitely was a factor in giving the rushers an extra second or two to get to Big Ben.

Angel

@Yuma ... b/c WSVN says due to the fact that down here it's a heavily populations of new yorkers. Hopefully they learn from that stupid mistake cause that was a snoozer

Barry Jackson

Yuma, you might have missed it, but I wrote last Friday that WSVN-7 asked for Giants because of transplanted New Yorkers here.

mike

Barry how solid are the booker t commits bethel and Jackson I saw where bethel had been checking out Georgia and Jackson decommiting?thanks.

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