Miami Dolphins can make playoffs by winning final three games


Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11) reacts after scoring in the the fourth quarter on a reception from quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) against the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on Sunday, December 19, 2021.

Dolphins fans were treated to a late Christmas gift Sunday, as the team’s playoff chances got a major boost from the outcome of multiple games.

The team’s odds for a postseason berth increased to 18 percent, according to FiveThirtyEight, after losses by the New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Chargers, Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos.

More importantly, after a 1-7 start, the Dolphins are in control of their playoff destiny and can secure a playoff spot by winning their final three games. It would be a historic turnaround; no team in NFL history has made the playoffs after losing seven of their first eight games.

Here’s a look at the AFC playoff race, with playoff odds courtesy of FiveThirtyEight, as the Dolphins enter their Monday night road game against the New Orleans Saints:

1. Kansas City Chiefs (11-4)

Remaining schedule: at Bengals, at Broncos

Playoff odds: Clinched AFC West

2. Tennessee Titans (10-5)

Remaining schedule: vs. Dolphins, at Texans

Playoff odds: 99 percent

3. Cincinnati Bengals (9-6)

Remaining schedule: vs. Chiefs, at Browns

Playoff odds: 79 percent

4. Buffalo Bills (9-6)

Remaining schedule: vs. Falcons, vs. Jets

Playoff odds: 99 percent

5. Indianapolis Colts (9-6)

Remaining schedule: vs. Raiders, at Jaguars

Playoff odds: 97 percent

6. New England Patriots (9-6)

Remaining schedule: vs. Jaguars, at Dolphins

Playoff odds: 96 percent

7. Baltimore Ravens (8-7)

Remaining schedule: vs. Rams, vs. Steelers

Playoff odds: 34 percent

8. Los Angeles Chargers (8-7)

Remaining schedule: vs. Broncos, at Raiders

Playoff odds: 36 percent

9. Las Vegas Raiders (8-7)

Remaining schedule: at Colts, vs. Chargers

Playoff odds: 18 percent

10. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7-1)

Remaining schedule: vs. Browns, at Ravens

Playoff odds: 13 percent

11. Miami Dolphins (7-7)

Remaining schedule: at Saints, at Titans, vs. Patriots

Playoff odds: 18 percent

12. Cleveland Browns (7-8)

Remaining schedule: at Steelers, vs. Bengals

Playoff odds: 11 percent

13. Denver Broncos (7-8)

Remaining schedule: at Chargers, vs. Chiefs

Playoff odds: 0.1 percent

This story was originally published December 26, 2021 7:24 PM.

Daniel Oyefusi covers the Dolphins for the Miami Herald. A native of Towson, Maryland, he graduated from the University of Maryland: College Park. Previously, he covered the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.

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