Miami Dolphins Week 17

Potential outcomes for the Miami Dolphins with their Playoff push continuing into Week 18

Home » NFL » Miami Dolphins » Miami Dolphins Playoff Chances 2023: Picture & Scenarios for Week 18

The Miami Dolphins’ playoff chances for 2023 have completely disintegrated down the stretch. That’s what happens when you lose five straight games.

However, the Dolphins’ playoff picture isn’t as murky as one might think after five consecutive defeats. There’s still hope for the Dolphins to get to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

Miami Dolphins Playoff chances 2023

What are the scenarios for the Dolphins in Week 18? More than likely, it’s going to require the Dolphins to snap their losing streak. But if that happens, Miami has a good chance.

Let’s take a closer look at the NFL playoff possibilities from Miami’s perspective and the Miami Dolphins’ playoff chances for the 2023 postseason.

Beat the Jets

For the Dolphins to get themselves into the playoffs, they need to beat the Jets on Sunday. A sixth consecutive loss would end Miami’s season regardless of the result in other games. For the Miami Dolphins playoff chances for 2023 to stay alive, a win over the Jets is essential. The problem is that is far from a guarantee.


Keep in mind that the Dolphins lost 40-17 when they visited the Jets earlier this season. They will need to turn that result completely around when the Jets visit South Florida this weekend. In fairness, the Dolphins were without Tua Tagovailoa in that game and also lost Teddy Bridgewater to injury, forcing rookie Skylar Thompson to make his NFL debut without much notice or preparation. However, even with two turnovers and a safety, that doesn’t excuse the Dolphins giving up 40 points against a team that’s averaging just 18.1 points per game on the season.

The good news for Miami is that the Jets are in the midst of their own late-season slide. The Jets have also lost five straight games, falling to 7-9 on the season, and getting eliminated from playoff contention after last week’s loss. That leaves them with nothing to play for in Week 18 except the chance to play spoiler for the Dolphins. It’s also worth noting that the Dolphins have won each of the last six games that they’ve hosted the Jets at Hard Rock Stadium, which works in their favor.

All hail Buffalo

If the Dolphins are able to win on Sunday, the other part of the equation is the New England Patriots losing to the Buffalo Bills.

The Patriots have the same 8-8 record as Miami but New England has the tiebreaker over the Dolphins, which is why the Dolphins have no path to the playoffs if they lose. But if Miami wins and the Patriots lose, the Dolphins would claim the final Wild Card spot in the AFC, even if the 8-8 Steelers also win thanks to Miami’s win over the Steelers earlier this season.

On paper, the Bills beating the Patriots seems like a safe bet. The Bills are considered a bonafide Super Bowl contender and need to keep winning late in the season to maintain the top overall seed in the AFC. However, it’s impossible to know how they will play given the circumstances surrounding safety Damar Hamlin.


The Quarterback situation

Of course, the Bills-Patriots game means nothing to Miami if the Dolphins can’t beat the Jets. A few days out, it’s still unclear who will be starting at quarterback for them.

The only thing they know is that Tagovailoa won’t be available, leading either Bridgewater or Thompson to start. Bridgewater started last week’s loss but left after dislocating his pinky, an injury that has him questionable for Week 18.

Bridgewater has been a somewhat reliable backup this season and his experience would be useful in a must-win game. Meanwhile, Thompson has looked the part of a seventh-round rookie, completing just 54% of his passes with one touchdown pass and three interceptions. But the bottom line is the Dolphins haven’t won a game without Tagovailoa all season, a trend that will have to change if Miami hopes to make the playoffs.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *