Monday 19 March 2018 / 11:47 AM


After the Miami Dolphins’ 31-24 victory over the San Francisco 49ers this weekend, Dolfans all over the country were doing mental math, counting fingers and toes, trying to figure out if we actually have a shot to make it to the playoffs this year.

A few weeks ago, the Dolphins in the playoffs sounded like a fever dream. But now, they might actually have a fighting shot.

Sure, it might be too early to get excited, but can you blame long-suffering Miami supporters? The Dolphins were last in the playoffs in 2008 with the Wild Card, but were blown out by the Baltimore Ravens. Let’s rewind to the start of the 2008 NFL season. George W. Bush was still POTUS. Before their 2008 appearance, the Dolphins were in the 2001 playoffs, again as the Wild Card and again getting blown out by the Baltimore Ravens. If you’re a true Miami fan, you’re probably low-key frustrated by the time you got to the end of this paragraph.

But let’s add some math to make these playoffs seem more like a reality. We will assume that we win the games we could possibly win, and we will try to predict the results from other teams.

Week 13
The Fins face the Ravens next week, the bane of our playoff existence in the past two decades. The fins have a good shot at winning, and if they do, their odds increase to 57%. If they lose, the odds go down to 23%. I’m an optimist, so let’s say we win. The Dolphins would also get a boost if the Jaguars beat the Broncos (unlikely) and the Raiders beat the Bills (let’s go Raiders).

Week 14
The Dolphins will play the Cardinals, and if they win their playoff odds become 56%l if they lose they drop to 42%. Why the 1% drop? The drop is trying to take into account every other team, but thankfully we would receive a boost if the Raiders beat the Chiefs, the Steelers beat the Bills, and the Titans beat the Broncos (unlikely). The Raiders-Chiefs will be a good game for all, and now Dolphins fans have a personal stake.

This is where crunch time happens, from Week 15 to Week 17, the Dolphins will have three back-to-back AFC East rivalry games that have the potential to make or break their entire season.

Week 15
The Dolphins-Jets rivalry continues in a huge game for the Dolphins. If they win, their playoff odds shoot up to 81% since the Jets are a fellow AFC East team. If they lose, they fall to 47%. I think the Dolphins should be able to pull out a victory, but watching the Jets almost claw out a win over AFC East heavyweights New England this weekend makes this game far from an easy win. The Fins will receive a boost if the Browns beat the Bills (unlikely) or Patriots beat the Broncos.

Week 16
By now, if things go as smoothly as I hope, the Dolphins’ playoff chances are looking good. The Week 16 Dolphins-Bills matchup has the potential to put Miami at a 99% playoff chance if they win, or a 72% playoff chance if they lose.

Week 17
My predictions thus far have the Dolphins extending their six-game win streak to 10 in a row. Yes, NFL fans, that was hard to type out. The Dolphins need to win those games because their Week 17 game is against the Darth Vader of the AFC, the New England Patriots. A win here guarantees the Dolphins will be in the playoffs, and maybe even the first spot in the AFC East. A loss here drops them down to a 92% chance, which is still amazing for Miami.

Doomsday Predictions:

If the Dolphins win the next two games, but lose all three against their AFC East rivals, their odds drop to around 5%.

If they lose every game except the Jets and Bills, their odds are at 38%.

If they beat the Ravens, along with the Jets and Bills, they will have a 92% chance at playoffs.

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About the author

Alex Moskov

Alex has come on board with CBS as our basketball and gridiron expert, providing opinions and analysis from the bright lights of the NBA and NFL.

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