For the past few weeks, the Miami Dolphins have been chasing the odds to secure a postseason berth in 2020. Miami, who is among a crowded group of AFC teams with 10+ wins this season, is hoping to avoid being the one AFC contender with 10 wins that misses the postseason action this season: that is guaranteed to happen to someone next weekend. But the odds appear to finally be in Miami’s favor after several weeks of being forecasted as the team on the outside looking in.
How good Miami’s odds are depend on where you look, but FiveThirtyEight’s NFL projections currently peg Miami with 73% odds to make the postseason with one game left to play. There are four clinching scenarios for Miami entering next weekend, offering Miami a lot more attractive alternatives to “win or go home”, which is what the forecast called for over the past several weeks. .
Those four pathways are as follows:
Defeat the Buffalo Bills to move to 11-5
A Cleveland Browns loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers
A Baltimore Ravens loss to the Cincinnati Bengals
An Indianapolis Colts loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars
Even with a loss to Buffalo, FiveThirtyEight still offers Miami a 65% chance of making the dance at 10-6. And the odds are better elsewhere, too. ESPN’s football Power Index offers Miami an 82$ chance to make the postseason.
Dolphins now have an 82% chance to make the playoffs per ESPN FPI. Not clinched yet but returning to postseason feels more real than ever for Miami.
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) December 27, 2020
After the emotional highs of the win over the Raiders, the Dolphins must stay focused to finish the job. But this is what they’ve been working towards all season. And, against the odds, it is here for the taking in Week 17. And if that materializes, it will be fun to see not “if” the Dolphins can make the playoffs but rather who will they face? And what kind of fight the young Dolphins can afford any team they draw in the bracket.