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Miami Playoff Paths & Who to Root For

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by KeyFin, Dec 18, 2020.

  1. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    For those who aren't keeping up with this sort of thing, Miami currently holds the #7 seed over the Ravens due to conference record. We're both 8-5, so we just have to have the same or a better record than Baltimore. However, the Ravens SHOULD go 3-0 with their fairly easy remaining schedule, which means we need to go 3-0 as well.

    Other good news, there's really nobody besides the Ravens to worry about- it's them or us for that #7 spot. The Pats have to win out to overtake us for #2 in the East and have any shot at the playoffs, while the Raiders have self-destructed and aren't in the picture anymore. Of course, for us these are both must-win games regardless.

    Looking ahead in the seeding, there aren't too many teams that can drop to help us out. The Browns, Titans and Colts are one game ahead, and of course one of them will win the division out of Tenn/Indy. If one of them self-destructed down the stretch, there's a chance us and the Ravens make the playoffs. It's not likely though. Would be great to see the Browns lose to the Jets or Giants and the Colts to lose to the Jags or Texans. Then they each have a game against the Steelers which could also be a L. But again, this would require one of them to lose two out of three while we go 2-1 or better.

    Which brings us back to our 1st scenario- win three and we're in. Win two and we're probably out, unless the Ravens lose once OR the Browns, Titans or Colts lose twice.

    One more scenario which could actually become a possibility- if any team gets COVID these next three Sundays and can't play in a meaningful game with playoff implications, then the fields expand to 8 teams automatically. That means we're in at #8 as long as we beat the Pats....a 9-7 record should lock us in for that. So today's game is definitely the most important of the three.

    Updated after week 15:

    Teams playing Baltimore we're rooting for-
    (For the #7 seed- any loss here lets us lose one as well)

    Giants week 16
    Bengals week 17

    Teams to root for against higher seeds-
    (We need the Browns or Colts to lose both IF we take a loss AND the Ravens win both)

    Jets over Browns week 16
    Steelers over Browns in week 17

    Steelers over Colts in week 16
    Jags over Colts in week 17


    * Updated based on Bills winning the division.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2020
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  2. FphinFantastic

    FphinFantastic Member

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    Crazy that it is going to take 11-5 to land the 7th seed in the AFC wild card race. Good thing there was a 7th or it’s possible 11-5 would be left in the cold lol
     
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  3. TheHighExhaulted

    TheHighExhaulted Well-Known Member

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    The good news is that they are a better team than their next two opponents.

    I'd rather have Buffalo win the next two so they have nothing to play for Week 17 and they lay down against Miami.

    Only shot.
     
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  4. mlb1399

    mlb1399 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I dont see is beating Buffalo if that last game matters. I think we can beat NE and LV but part of me feels like injuries are piling and this good run is over. Either way it’s a win. Better draft picks or keep on exceeding expectations for wins.

    It’s only getting better #finup
     
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  5. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    That's why I included the Ravens schedule as well and the other teams- it's possible we don't have to win all 3 if the Ravens lose once or teams above us lose twice. Someone will choke, they always do.
     
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  6. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    If that were to play out and Buffalo rests starters in week 17, it would be intentionally to let us in the playoffs. I mean, that's not the main reason...but their front office would definitely see those implications and think it out.

    Would they intentionally want to face our young defense twice? I'm not sure anyone would wish for that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2020
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  7. AGuyNamedAlex

    AGuyNamedAlex Well-Known Member

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    Theoretically I think not having your QB injured in a meaningless game would be reason enough, even if it let us in.
     
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  8. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    No sure...it would be a heck of an incentive to start him as well. The last thing they want is to face our defense in the playoffs if they can avoid it.
     
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  9. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    Buffalo resting starters to allow us into the playoffs could also mean that we have to play them, in their building, again the next week as well. That's a huge advantage for them. Watch what you wish for. It will depend on how the seeds work out.
     
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  10. Finatik

    Finatik Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Right now we would play Pittsburg. I like that matchup.
     
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  11. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    As crazy as this sounds, I'm honestly not sure if Pittsburg is a playoff-caliber team. They've squeaked by a lot of much weaker opponents throughout their schedule for single-TD wins. I would love to draw them round 1 as well!
     
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  12. AGuyNamedAlex

    AGuyNamedAlex Well-Known Member

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    I dont think of it that way personally. A playoff team shouldnt be scared or worried about beating anyone. If you are playing for matchups in my opinion you werent good enough to be a champion anyway.

    Their mentality should be that they would love to knock off a division foe in the playoffs and that they can beat anyone on any given week.

    Though I do see what you are saying.
     
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  13. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Our defense is probably the best in the league at the moment and that makes us a genuine wildcard. I mean, if we need 24 points on average to win and the defense is setting up 2 or 3 scores in some games, NOBODY would intentionally hope to draw us after seeing how we played KC.

    Coaches would never come out and say, "I really hope we don't have to play Miami," but I guarantee you that they're thinking it. Buffalo could actually be in the very unique position to help us get into the playoffs over Baltimore, so it really comes down to who they're more worried about.

    Honestly, it might make sense to fear Baltimore's offense more...to me it's just a very interesting concept to think about. Buffalo's D is legit as well though so all kinds of factors would play into that decision.
     
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  14. AGuyNamedAlex

    AGuyNamedAlex Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I totally get what you're saying and agree somewhat but I guess my point is, if Josh Allen breaks his leg in the 4th but the Bills dont have to face our defense in the playoffs is that really a win?

    I just dont think not facing us in the playoffs is worth that sort of risk.

    Now if they could improve their seeding and get a bye week or something it would be different to me.
     
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  15. Deus ex dolphin

    Deus ex dolphin Well-Known Member

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    I just hope that 'Someone' won't be Miami. :couch:

    On the plus side, there are a number of paths to the playoffs for the Phins, but starting with a win over the Pats this week will be a great first step.
     
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  16. Finatik

    Finatik Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    This is a must win game. Period.
     
  17. firedan

    firedan Well-Known Member

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    Three must games.One at a time.
     
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  18. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Yup. The "it would be nice to win" games have concluded for the season.

    Thinking back, it's such a shame this defense and the o-line wasn't together like this in the first three games. With that week 4-14 team, we win all three of those and are probably sitting in the #1 seed. Doesn't matter now though- what does is exactly what you just said. Three huge wins, one week at a time.
     
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  19. ExplosionsInDaSky

    ExplosionsInDaSky Well-Known Member

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    As i said a few days ago...Our playoffs start this weekend and only get more and more intense by the week. WE HAVE TO beat New England on Sunday or it's over for the season. I know some are fine with the progress and would be ok missing the playoffs, but if we are actually in a position to make the postseason (which we are)...Then why wouldn't you want to be there? Here's the thing, whether we though we would be or not, we're an 8-5 team currently holding a playoff spot. Yes...It's a pleasant surprise, but now this it is attainable...screw it, lets go all in and try and get there! It would be a heck of an achievement from last year to this year if we were to make the dance. I don't think anyone is thinking Super Bowl here, but the postseason is still a lot of fun and I know that if we do make it...whoever we end up playing, we are going to at least scare the hell out of them. In short, making the playoffs can only benefit this young roster. While missing them isn't the end of the world, in no way am I ready to personally throw in the towel and call the season a success without them.
     
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  20. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    The Bears of the AFC, but their better coach and QB will keep them from the kind of slide the Bears had. Very beatable team though, that offense is not good. Chiefs are the team to beat, and I suspect they will hold things closer to the vest these last few weeks before unloading in the playoffs.

    Man that stupid loss to the Broncos was a tough one, put us in a bad spot now that the Ravens have picked it up a bit.
     
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  21. Sceeto

    Sceeto Well-Known Member

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    Didn't the Raiders losing last night help us?
     
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  22. TheHighExhaulted

    TheHighExhaulted Well-Known Member

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    Not really it just makes them less relevant.
     
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  23. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    A small bit. It basically takes Vegas out of the equation, since they can't possibly tie with us at ten wins. That's good, because there were scenarios where being in a 3 or 4 way tie with them was bad for Miami.

    We seem to have the tiebreaker edge over the Colts, because the playoff machines all give us the edge with the same AFC record. That likely comes down to games vs common opponents, and should we beat Oakland, that would put us at 5-0 in those games, while Indy can't be better than 4-1. (They finish with Jacksonville).

    So, should the Colts lose the next two vs Houston and Pittsburgh while the Fins beat New England and Las Vegas, we would likely be in following the Week 16 games no matter what, and Week 17 would then only determine seeding. That's our easiest path in without winning Week 17.
     
  24. MediocrityLivesOn

    MediocrityLivesOn Member

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    Three more games and we get a taste of the playoffs. It will build confidence with this squad. Please. Just. Win.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2020
  25. Puka-head

    Puka-head My2nd Fav team:___vs Jets Club Member

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    I don't see the Fluffy Ho's laying down week 17 regardless of playoff scenarios. They and their mafia hate on the Phins like we hate on the jest. They will be playing to win, especially if beating us keeps us out of the playoffs
     
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  26. TheHighExhaulted

    TheHighExhaulted Well-Known Member

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    That would be quite foolish of them especially if they're locked into a seed.
     
  27. MediocrityLivesOn

    MediocrityLivesOn Member

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    I always said we were the NY Giants of the AFC. Just with better coaching(oddly enough they are both Belichick protégés) and a far better QB. But yeah, that’s a good comparison right there.
     
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  28. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    Historically, if you want to match the Dolphins with a NFC franchise as our twin since the merger, its probably Washington.

    Both franchises had a lot of success in the early to mid 70s, less in the late 70s, then a major resurgance in the 80s and early 90s.

    Both owe a large portion of their success to one HOF head coach.

    Both have appeared in five Super Bowls, and both last appeared in the conference title game in the early 90s.

    Both have rarely appeared in the playoffs in the last twenty years, combining for one wild card win.

    In the early 2000s, Both hired a championship coach from college and it was a disaster, with him lasting only two seasons and then heading back to college to coach again.

    Both hired a head coach who won multiple Super Bowls with another team, but didn't have as much success with them, and it was over after four years.

    And they of course faced one another in the Super Bowl twice, each winning one of those matchups.
     
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  29. MediocrityLivesOn

    MediocrityLivesOn Member

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    I’m waking up hungover and watching the game tomorrow. I’ll feel defeated knowing that the Jills won their first AFC East Crown in years. Just another day and year of getting my hopes up.
     
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  30. Irishman

    Irishman Well-Known Member

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    A new way to be positive.

    I love it.
     
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  31. Phil Hutchings

    Phil Hutchings Active Member

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    Surely it makes a (pleasant) change from the patsies winning it again?

    It certainly does for me.
     
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  32. TheHighExhaulted

    TheHighExhaulted Well-Known Member

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    So if Browns lose tonight, Miami jumps to 6, Baltimore 7 and Cleveland out.
     
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  33. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I went through all the scenarios this morning and I really don't see a clear path without the Fins winning out, the Ravens losing one or the Colts or Browns losing both their remaining games. The tie-breakers don't seem to favor us over the Colts or Browns if we get into 2, 3, or 4-way scenarios. Where it gets messy is the tie-breaker strength of schedule...it turns out we had the weakest schedule of all these teams.

    The good news- if we win out, we have a 100% chance of making the playoffs and we can end up the #5-7 seed overall. The bad news, with one loss it gets really complicated and our odds drop to 0-40%. I did notice that the Titans losing no longer helps us since they take us in all tie-breakers, so I dropped them from the games we're tracking.

    Teams playing Baltimore we're rooting for-

    Giants week 16
    Bengals week 17

    Other crucial games-

    Jets over Browns week 16
    Steelers over Browns in week 17

    Steelers over Colts in week 16
    Jags over Colts in week 17

    Who's my team of the week next Sunday? Lets go JETS....J...E...T...S! If the Jets win and we beat the Raiders, then we have a clear path if the Steelers take care of business against the Browns in week 17. Really hoping that the Steelers win out since it gives us an extra path in the Jags/Colts game as well.

    There's one more path to the playoffs with us losing one- COVID. If any potential playoff team can't play the next two weeks due to COVID (AFC or NFC), the playoffs get expanded to 8 total teams. In that scenario, we're a lock for the #8 slot or higher by finishing the year 1-1.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2020
  34. Hooligan

    Hooligan Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    If we can't win out we don't belong.
     
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  35. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    To me, a 10-6 team belongs regardless...we are tied for the 9th best record in the entire league. Also, the Bills and KC are probably the best two AFC teams today, so losing those games don't mean we "don't belong" at all....that means we don't belong in the Super Bowl.

    But I do agree with you that you have to win in December if you hope to win in January.
     
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  36. AGuyNamedAlex

    AGuyNamedAlex Well-Known Member

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    No fear. Win and we are in. Lose and we didnt deserve it we almost beat KC we can beat Buffalo if they dont play their A game. We need to beat LV too.

    We are in control but we are acting like we need help. Let's help ourselves this time.
     
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  37. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I wasn't doing that AT ALL...I simply tried to cover all scenarios for the next two weeks. We're in the playoffs with two wins and have less than a coin-flip chance with one win. The goal most certainly is two wins though.

    However, if we win this week and somehow the Ravens lose, then we're a 100% lock regardless of week 17. That's something fans certainly want to know.
     
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  38. AGuyNamedAlex

    AGuyNamedAlex Well-Known Member

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    Oh no man I didnt mean you. It's good to know different possibilities, I just mean some fans seem worried.
     
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  39. Hooligan

    Hooligan Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    You know, we really have had a pretty easy schedule. The only decent teams that we have beaten are the Cards and the Rams, with the Rams not so much since the Jest beat them yesterday. It kinda has that 2016 feel to it. If we win out then we earned the play-offs, if we get in only because Baltimore stumbled then the glass slipper didn't fit... But, I'll take it.
     
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  40. MediocrityLivesOn

    MediocrityLivesOn Member

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    Hahahaha, yeah I was feeling defeated when I woke up yesterday. Now? Woah we are starting to look damn good.
     
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