The Road To The Wildcard

The Miami Dolphins suffered a tough loss at the hands of Belichick and Brady last Thursday. 36-7 was the final score in Dan Campbell’s first loss as a head coach. Dolphin’s fans were optimistic that their team could pull off the next to impossible in Foxboro. Even though they came up short, this is still one of, if not the best team in the NFL. This lose doesn’t mean this team is done, but were does it leave this team?

Are the 2015 Miami Dolphins heading to the playoffs?

Before we dig into this, let’s figure out where the Dolphins are now. They are 3-4 and are tied with the Bills at the bottom of the AFC East. They are only one game behind the Jets, but 4 games behind the division-leading Patriots. If the playoffs were today, Miami would be 9th team in the AFC, but they would only be one game out of the wildcard.

Luckily for the Dolphins, their remaining schedule is not that bad as you can see in the table below.






at Buffalo Bills



at Philadelphia Eagles



vs Dallas Cowboys



at New York Jets



vs Baltimore Ravens



vs New York Giants



at San Diego Chargers



vs Indianapolis Colts



vs New England Patriots



Miami’s remaining opponents have a combined record of 30-37. A .448 strength of schedule is obviously favorable, but there is far more going on than the stats can tell you.

First off Tyrod Taylor is back this coming week for the Buffalo Bills after missing two games. If Taylor was healthy for those two games they probably still lose to the Bengals, but they likely beat the Jaguars. This team is better with him at the helm and will be no walk in the park this week.

Staying on the injured quarterback trend, we move on to week 11. The Dallas Cowboys have not had a good season so far and that is because they lost their star quarterback. Unfortunately for Miami, Tony Romo will be healthy and ready to go by the time. This team has lost all 5 games that he has missed. This same team didn’t lose that many games all of last season. With Romo starting this team is going to be very difficult to beat.

The next stop we are going to make is the week following Dallas. The New York Jets have had a good season, but that was when Ryan Fitzpatrick was healthy. Fitzpatrick suffered torn ligaments in his non-throwing hand in the Jet’s loss to the Raiders. His back-up Geno Smith came into the game, but evidently came out with an injury of his own. Jets Head Coach Todd Bowles described the injury as a “big bruise” on Smith’s shoulder.

The Jets have been vague on the details, but it look like Ryan Fitzpatrick is going to miss some time and Geno Smith will start with rookie Bryce Petty backing him up. This is obviously a significant loss for the Jets and will have a negative effect on their record. This helps the Dolphins, but it will help them much more if Fitzpatrick misses their week 12 match-up.

The Ravens have played good teams closely and are better than their record implies, but the Giants might be worse than their record. The Chargers and Colts are both struggling, but both have dangerous quarterbacks. Then the Dolphins finish the regular season at home against the Patriots, but they might been able to bench their starters to save them for the playoffs.

There are plenty of question marks in this schedule, but none bigger than can they make it? The Dolphins can only lose 3 games if they want to make the playoffs and even that might not be enough. It will not be an easy road by any means for the Dolphins and it starts this week with a must win against a division rival.

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