Can the Dolphins Survive the AFC Playoff Race?

Miami is coming off a dominating performance against a fading Jets team. The question now is can the Dolphins keep winning and make the playoffs?

Miami is tied at 6-6 for the last wild card spot with the Baltimore Ravens, but Baltimore beat the Dolphins earlier this year so they have the tiebreaker. The Dolphins last four games are against Pittsburgh, New England, Buffalo, and New York. Ideally, I think they can win three out of those four games (the one loss being New England), but you never know which team will show up on Sunday. Miami has lost to bad teams before, so no game is guaranteed. My prediction is Miami finishes this last stretch at 2-2, which would put them at an 8-8 record. I would love to say I think they'll beat the Steelers, Bills, and Jets, but I know better than to expect any game to be easy.

What does work in the Dolphins favor is Baltimore's schedule. The Ravens play Minnesota, Detroit, New England, and Cincinnati. It's not the toughest stretch ever, but they are playing three tough teams. They'll probably win two out of their four, but it will be harder for them because of who they play. All we can do is hope they slip up and Miami finishes strong, because a tie wouldn't do anything for the Dolphins.

The real wild card game in Miami's schedule is their matchup next week with the Steelers. Miami is 7-5 against the spread this year, so betting odds on the Dolphins this season have been in their favor. They look to be early favorites over Pittsburgh, but Miami has struggled against tough running quarterbacks this year (see Andrew Luck and Cam Newton), and Ben Roethlisberger could provide similar problems.

If the Dolphins can win against the Steelers, Bills, and Jets, they should be able to make it into the playoffs. Let's cross our fingers.

Thanks for stopping by. Email me at paul@dolphinshout.com. I'm also on twitter @PaulDSmythe.