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Miami Dolphins find themselves inside playoff picture

The Miami Dolphins are currently the No. 6 seed in the AFC playoff picture, meaning if the regular-season ended right now the Dolphins would be in the playoffs.

Yes, I know ... the season doesn't end right now.

But we've reached that time of season where results have conference-wide consequences. And right now the Dolphins are taking advantage of the fact the Cleveland Browns lost today, and the Cincinnati Bengals won.

So for the time being the Dolphins win a tiebreaker over Baltimore based on best win percentage in conference games. The Dolphins advanced to that state because a Division tiebreaker to eliminate Cleveland and Pittsburgh goes to Baltimore for head-to-head win percentage.

Again, I know ... This changes week to week. But you are updated now.

The New England Patriots won this evening, improving their record to 8-2 and increasing their lead in the AFC East over Miami.

But you also should know the Denver Broncos lost to the St. Louis Rams, 22-7 on Sunday. It was a shocker in that the Broncos had been second the NFL in points per game with 31.8 and had scored at least 20 points in 29 consecutive games. The Broncos were limited to the fewest points since Peyton Manning arrived in 2012.

The Dolphins travel to Denver next week.

The Broncos will be upset and motivated, of course. They are locked in a race for the AFC West title with Kansas City.

But the Broncos also are beat up, following today's game. Today the Broncos had tight end Julius Thomas go out of the game with an ankle injury. Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders went out with a concussion. And running back Montee Ball went out with a groin injury. None of the three returned to the game after their injuries.

All three are big losses. Thomas leads the NFL with 12 TD receptions. Sanders is perhaps the favorite target for Manning. And Ball, out previously with a groin, had been the hope for reviving a dormant running game.