Dolphins' Playoffs Hopes Rest in "Teams We Hate"

Since one scenario involves New England losing, and the other winning, root for a meteor strike

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    "So, we just sit around and watch then?"

     

    Despite losing to Tennessee, the Dolphins' chances at the playoffs haven't dropped from slim all the way to none. In fact, they're holding somewhere between "Low" and "Guarded," and are entirely dependent on our enemies -- just like the Homeland Security Alert System!

    "You hate not to control your own destiny," corner Nate Jones said, "and cheering for teams I don't even like."

    Tell us about it, mister. The Dolphins themselves were pretty unlikeable for the first three games of the year.

    That's the situation team and finds alike find themselves in, however, and the Dolphins (7-7) have to win their next two against Houston (7-7) and Pittsburgh (7-7) for any scenario short of plague and pestilence to develop.

    Here's how each plays out:
    For the Dolphins to win the AFC East, the Patriots must lose twice, to the Jags and Texans. If the Dolphins win out while Tom Brady faceplants and then faceplants again, Miami would  pull even with New England in overall record (9-7), division record (4-2), and record against common opponents (7-5). That would take the race down to conference record, where the Fins would edge the Pats by a single game. 
    This outcome would hold true even if the Jets also win out while the Pats flop: the tiebreaker is head-to-head record in games between the tied teams, and the Dolphins are 3-1 against New England and New York.
    Things that are likely to happen before this:
    • Elin Nordegren bears Tiger's third child.
    • Channing Crowder sponsors a cotillion.
    • Chad Henne reveals those pants are tear-aways. On the field.  
    For the Dolphins to secure a Wildcard berth, New England must beat the Jaguars, the Titans must lose to San Diego, and the Ravens must lose at the hands of the Steelers. Believe it or not, this is the most likely way Miami reaches the post-season, because such events would -- it appears, but holy moly does this stuff involve some math -- pit Miami against the Steelers in a death match at Land Shark on January 3.
    Things that are likely to happen before this:
    • Dan Henning found to be a random lunatic with a fake Dan Henning ID, prompting red-zone play-calling to improve.
    • Randy Starks buys a Prius, gives to Police Benevolent Fund.
    • The Dolphins fail to beat the Texans, because they have never beaten the Texans.
    In other words, both situations are long shots, though considering the Dolphins are second in a pack of six 7-7 teams with a slim shot at the Wildcard, and the AFC East is something like the ACC of the NFL, well, it's worth keeping an one eye on.
    (The other, of course, is trained on free agency.)
    Whatever happens, Janie Campbell is just relieved that Fergie-as-minority-owner thing hasn't panned out yet. Her work has appeared in irreverent sports sites around the Internet.