The Miami Dolphins advanced closer to capturing their first playoff berth since 2008 with a 34-13 road shellacking over the stinking New York Jets, behind a glowing performance from Matt Moore — 12 of 18 with four touchdowns and a 94.4 QBR — despite it being his first start since 2011.

We also lost a man before his time when Jets quarterback Bryce Petty provided the meat of a Cam Wake-Ndamukong Suh sandwich, which has been deemed toxic by the FDA.

Now finishing no worse than 9-7, the Dolphins still have some work to do to extend their season past January 1, when they face the New England Patriots in Week 17 after heading to icy Buffalo next weekend.

Typically, a 10-6 record is the cost of admission but that hasn’t always been the case.

A whopping 19 teams have missed the playoffs despite winning 10 games, and an even more stunning two teams missed out on the postseason despite winning 11 games, including most recently the Patriots in 2008. And this year, with how deep the AFC is, it’s very possible a 10-win team (Miami, Denver, or Baltimore) misses out again.


According to Five Thirty Eight, the Dolphins’ playoff odds currently sit at 43 percent after humiliating the Jets, but today’s Patriots-Broncos game has by the far the biggest sway of any remaining matchup of the weekend.

If New England wins today, Miami’s odds jump to 56 percent but if they lose, the odds drop to 28 percent.

If New England wins today and Miami wins out, Miami will be in the playoffs.

If New England wins today and Miami finishes 1-1, Miami’s odds are greater than 80 percent. So Dolphins fans should — gulp — root for the Pats hard this afternoon and root against Denver the rest of the way.

As Barry Jackson notes, if Denver loses the next two and Miami beats Buffalo, the Fins clinch next weekend.

These following playoff odds, per Five Thirty Eight, factor in only the Dolphins:

  • Miami beats Buffalo and New England: 95 percent
  • Miami beats Buffalo and loses to New England: 58 percent
  • Miami loses to Buffalo and beats New England: 58 percent
  • Miami loses to Buffalo and New England: 5 percent

So the Dolphins essentially control their own destiny at this point. Win out and they’re all but a lock. Lose out and it’s over.

Split and they have a better chance than not of making the playoffs. Just the fact we’re having this discussion in late December sure feels nice.

Photo via Keith Allison/Flickr