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Playoffs, PFF and more

Let me start this morning by clearing up the playoff picture because many of my twitter followers seemed confused Monday night after the Ravens defeated the Lions.

First and most importantly, if the Dolphins beat the Bills on Sunday and the Jets in the season-finale, they will be in the playoffs. 

As you just read, what the Ravens do doesn't really matter to the Dolphins if Joe Philbin's team can win out. The Ravens can win out and if the Dolphins win out, then Baltimore wins the AFC North while the Dolphins take at least the No. 6 seed. Even if the Bengals and Ravens tie in the season-finale, after winning games this week, the Dolphins still qualify based on winning percentage if they win out.

The winning percentage for 10-6 is .625.

The winning percentage for 9-6-1 is .593

If the Dolphins do not win out, there are scenarios under which they can make the playoffs at 9-7 but then they would require help from other teams.

It is possible the Dolphins can win the AFC East, believe it or not. New England would have to lose out. Miami would have to win out.

Monday night's victory by the Ravens really doesn't affect the Dolphins, but it did affect the New York Jets. That victory officially put the final playoff nail in New York's 2013 season. The Jets are eliminated from postseason consideration.

Now ... as with every Tuesday, my partners at ProFootballFocus.com deliver their nuggets based on film review of the previous game. Today, I present to you the review of the Dolphins victory over the New England Patriots:


Right tackle Tyson Clabo had his best pass blocking game of the season, not allowing any pressure while working against Rob Ninkovich.

Lamar Miller returned from his concussion to lead the backfield in snaps. Miller had 38, Daniel Thomas had 18, and Marcus Thigpen had three.

Salguero: Interesting decision by coaches to gladly accept Thomas's fine work last week against Pittsburgh and then put Miller right back in there ahead of him this week.

Sam Brenner has overtaken Nate Garner as the fulltime LG. Brenner played all 64 snaps at left guard. 

Salguero: Brenner was solid. The sacks by the Dolphins were given up by Bryant McKinnie and John Jerry.

Ryan Tannehill handled the blitz well, going six-of-nine for 97 yards, while taking two sacks.

Tannehill struggled on passes outside the numbers left from 0-9 yards. He was just one-of-four, but the one came on his touchdown pass to Marcus Thigpen.

Tannehill mostly avoided targeting Aqib Talib (four targets, two catches, 22 yards).

Salguero: Tannehill is usually a better deep thrower going to his left. He's not as good throwing right.

Mike Wallace did most of his damage (four catches on seven targets, 57 yards) against Kyle Arrington. But when Marquice Cole came in briefly for the injured Arrington, that's when Tannehill and Wallace hooked up for their touchdown.

Alfonzo Dennard was the Pats’ most friendly cornerback, giving up catches on seven of eight targets to Hartline, Wallace and Matthews for 87 yards.

Salguero: Keep all this in mind because on the possibility that Miami and New England meet again in the playoffs, I expect the Pats to change strategy. I would expect Talib to be shadowing Mike Wallace. Call it a hunch.


Jared Odrick played a season high 75 snaps after Paul Soliai (seven snaps) exited the game early.

Salguero: I don't have an update for Soliai's injured ankle.

Jelani Jenkins played 29 snaps to Philip Wheeler’s 51 after Wheeler struggled in coverage for most of the day. Philip Wheeler gave up five catches on six targets for 70 yards, including Michael Hoomanawanui’s circus TD catch.

Will Davis totaled 51 snaps, grading out at -2.4, after Nolan Carroll went down.

Michael Thomas filled in for 16 snaps after Brent Grimes was forced out late in the game. Thomas held his own against Danny Amendola, yielding two catches on five targets, but also breaking up a TD pass that Amendola had in his hands and then delivering the game-clinching pick.

Salguero: All four of the Dolphins starting defensive backs will be on the injury report this week. I expect the safeties -- Reshad Jones and Chris Clemons -- to be available for Buffalo. I expect Brent Grimes to miss practice time but the team is optimistic he'll be available for Buffalo, barring a setback. Nolan Carroll, who sustained a knee injury, is the biggest problem. He will miss practice time this week.