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Sunday night update: An early look at Dolphins playoff scenarios

A few quick tidbits on the Dolphins’ playoff chances:

### As you know, Baltimore and Miami are both 6-6 --- a game ahead of the Steelers, Jets, Chargers and Titans for the final playoff spot --- and the Ravens would win the tiebreaker against the Dolphins if they’re the only two teams that finish tied for the AFC’s sixth playoff spot. That's because Baltimore beat Miami in October.

The good news, from a Dolphins perspective, is that the Ravens have a challenging remaining schedule: Minnesota, at Detroit, New England and at Cincinnati. The Dolphins play at Pittsburgh, home against the Patriots, at Buffalo and home against the Jets.

So if the Dolphins beat either Pittsburgh or New England --– and beat the Jets and Bills --– the Dolphins would claim the final playoff spot if the Ravens simply go 2-2, presuming there’s a two-team tie for the final playoff spot. On paper, that’s a real possibility.

### If there’s a three-team tie, it’s not so clear cut. On the positive side, Baltimore wouldn’t necessarily win the tiebreaker over the Dolphins in a three-team tie. (That still has to play out.)

Head-to-head cannot be used to break a three-way tie for a wild card berth involving teams in different divisions --- unless all three teams played each other. Conference record would then be used as a tiebreaker.

Hypothetically, if San Diego finished tied with the Dolphins and Ravens, then Miami (5-3 in conference) could grab the sixth spot if it finishes with a better conference record than the Chargers (3-6 in conference) and the Ravens (6-4 in conference). That’s because the Ravens and Chargers aren’t playing this season.

Keep in mind the Ravens still have two games left against NFC teams; Miami has none. Any Baltimore loss would help, but losses in its two AFC games (Patriots and Bengals) would especially help should there be a three-team tie for the last spot.

The third three-team tiebreaker -- if needed -- would be record against common opponents, minimum four games.

### Another possible way for the Dolphins to make the postseason: If Baltimore catches Cincinnati (8-4) to win the AFC North. The Bengals’ remaining schedule isn’t easy: Indianapolis, at Pittsburgh, Minnesota and Baltimore.

If Baltimore beats the Bengals in their season finale and if the teams finish with the same record, the Ravens would win the tiebreaker and claim the division title in this scenario. That’s because Baltimore already beat Cincinnati, and a Week 17 win would give the Ravens a two-game sweep of the season series.

Under that scenario, the Dolphins then would win a two-team tiebreaker over Cincinnati by virtue of their win against the Bengals on Halloween.

### If the Dolphins lose to the Steelers Sunday, Pittsburgh would win a two-team tiebreaker over the Dolphins and would still have two more home games (Bengals, Browns) sandwiched between a visit to Green Bay. So Pittsburgh still very much looms as a threat to Miami.

### There’s a good chance the Colts (8-4) or Bengals (8-4) will be the No. 3 seed. If the Dolphins make the playoffs, they would almost assuredly be the No. 6 seed and would meet the No. 3 seed in a first-round playoff game. So while the Dolphins would go into that playoff game as an underdog, they would have the confidence of knowing that they beat both Indy and Cincinnati earlier this season.

Comments

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Eddie

frankly miami should make playoffs considering remaining schedules. but they'll find a way to screw it up.

Rob in OC

It is what it is...

From here on out, Miami has to handle it's own business. Then let the other playoff hunt teams put in their two cents.

As a hard core realist the Fins have holes (as do most any NFL team) That said, if it is suppose to happen, the Fins will play their way in. Hopefully the winnable losses against Carolina and Buffalo won't come back to wreck their playoff bid.

If they drop the ball in this late season stretch then they will be swimming in the NFL Draft stew of a middle position pick for 2014.

The Fins SMASHED the Jets and it should have been a more lopsided score. As a fan that in and of itself is worth celebrating!

Cheers,

Seems Vernon is making a case for staying put and kicking Mr. 3rd overall to LB/DE. D. Jordan will probably be the Wake fill long term.

joe r

playoffs probably get you at least another year of ireland and philbin

octavio de armas

It looks like it takes a PHD from HARVARD to figure the DOLPHINS play-offs chances. Truth be said this was the year we were supposed to catch up the PATRIOTS. This was the year to take advantage of a not so great PATRIOTS team. The year both JETS & BILLS were weak sisters. Instead we find ourselves gloating over a victory over a very bad football team and all kinds of scenarios of how we COULD get into the playoffs through the back door. As long as the ROSS/IRELAND tandem runs this team we shall be having these scenarios season after season.

Bob Griese 12

Just play them one at a time as they come. Pittsburgh is all they should be concentrating on at this moment.

KingShula

Its not that complicated Dolphins are at the mercy of Ravens considering ties,but by beating Pittsburg,Bills and Jets 9-7.Teams chasing have to win out and the phins have tiebreaker over all,either by head to head or conference record.The chances of other scenarios 3 way ties division leaders going 1-3 not very good so dont cloud you brain thinking about them.

Gamecock

The chances of Cincinnati going 3-1 and Baltimore Going 4-0 over the last 4 weeks is not very good with their schedules. It is huge that these teams play each other. That being said if we win out we will make the playoffs.


bRades

i hate when people say...Just concentrate on the Steelers...Or one at a time...We are fans its our job to look ahead.

bRades

its fun to look ahead...We have hope!

cool and the gang

Pellini brothers are both self-destructing.However...the weirdo in Nebraska blames the media and the officials.....anyone else for the events happening on the field.He came out Saturday and blankly stated...."I owe nobody an apology for anything.....not my coaches,not the players,not the media and not you(the interviewer)".Talk about a guy in some SERIOUS DENIAL and out of touch with reality.The cuckoo birds in his head must be chirping inside him VERY LOUD. NOW.Can t see the fans or Administrators putting up with him much longer.He already got called on the carpet last year for his VERY inappropriate and rude behavior.He s changed not at all THIS YEAR AS WELL.Guy s a ticking time bomb.

Nick

Unlikely we win 3 of last 4...lets just be real

bryan in ohio

very likely we sweep dolphins get in at 10-6

42lyleblackwood

Miami are absolutely average at best so as long as they beat Buffalo and the Jets I am happy this year.

IMAWriter

Nick, IF ( yes, that's a fairly BIG if) the Fins can go 3-1 they will have played AT LEAST as good a brand of football as they did against the Jets. With the addition of NOT leaving so many points on the field. As we know, you cannot do that against the Patsies, and even with the Bills.
Not sure if the impending penalties against the Steelers and Tomlin will include a one game suspension. You never know how that sort of thing can motivate…or demoralize a team. The Fins just need to play their game, especially a productive rushing attack.

LOUIS J. WILDER/#1 DOLFAN

BEING A LONG TIME DOLFAN(SINCE IT'S INCEPTION) I,VE SEEN ALOT OF GOOD(LIL BAD)THE DOLPHINS OF LATE ARE A REFRESHING CHANGE! WE WEREN,T SUPPOSED TO BE IN THE HUNT FOR A SUPERBOWL THIS YEAR(THAT,S NEXT YEAR) WE,RE RIGHT WHERE WE WERE SUPPOSED TO BE,IN THE HUNT FOR A WILDCARD.
FROM THAT STANDPOINT I,M PROUD OF THE DOLPHINS! WE ARE THAT CLOSE!!!! WE REALLY ONLY LOST ONE GAME! THE SAINTS CRUSHED US.BUT WE SHOULD HAVE WON ALL,YES ALL THE OTHER GAMES.THE OFFESE IS GROWING AND GELLING! THE DEFENSE COULD BE THE BEST IN THE NFL(IF THEY DIDN,T HAVE TO PLAY THE WHOLE GAME(WORN OUT IN THE 4TH QUARTER)
I SAY GET RID OF IRELAND...PLEASE!I,M TIRED OF PEOPLE SAYING TO GET RID OF PHILBIN AND TANNEHILL!THEY ARE GROWING,AND COULD BECOME GREAT.IT TAKES TIME.TANNY IS ONLY IN HIS 2ND YEAR! I,M SURPRISED HE,S STILL STANDING.CAN,T GIVE HIM ENOUGH CUDOS.IF HE HAD THE PATRIOTS LINE..EVERYBODY WOULD BE HAILING HIM!
WE CAN BEAT THE PATRIOTS,BUFFALO,AND THE JET.S. IT,S PITTSBURGH WE HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT(SEE BEN COME BACK THUR. NIGHT/
I HOPE I DIDN,T OFFEND ANYBODY(BOB,I THINK YOU WILL COCCOUR) YOU OTHER BUFFOONS HAVE NO CLUE!
#1 DOLFANM

dewbert

There are 4 AFC teams that are 1 game behind us. There are 3 AFC teams that are 2 games behind us. I think it's a little too soon to predict anything.

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