While the Miami Dolphins have given themselves a real chance to reach the NFL postseason, they could be eliminated from contention as early as Week 17 if they lose and every AFC favorite wins.
If the Dolphins lose to the Titans and every favorite in an AFC matchup wins in Week 17, the Dolphins are actually entirely eliminated before the Week 18 game with the Patriots. Don't count on a split of last two being good enough.
— David Furones (@DavidFurones_) December 28, 2021
The Dolphins are presently positioned in the seventh and final seed in the AFC, which would get them into the postseason.
However, the Dolphins have two challenging contests to close out the regular season, beginning with a road matchup on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.
The Titans currently lead the AFC South with a 10-5 record. They’re just ahead of the Indianapolis Colts. That tight lead means that the Titans will be doing everything they can to beat the Dolphins.
Even if the Dolphins emerge from that contest with a victory, they still have a tough opponent in the New England Patriots to close out the regular season on Jan. 9. The Dolphins notched a slim one-point win over the Patriots back on Sept. 12.
The Dolphins have momentum on their side after largely being given no chance to make the playoffs following a 1-7 start. Since that low point, they’ve run off seven straight wins to put themselves in a position to reach the playoffs.
Monday night’s 20-3 road victory over the New Orleans Saints was the Dolphins’ latest win, with the victory aided by key virus-related absences for the Saints.
While the Dolphins could potentially be eliminated after all of the Week 17 AFC clashes are decided, they also could be one of the season’s best stories if they manage to win their next two games.