The way it's shaping up... 8-8 should make the playoffs not 9-7...
The 2 "front runners" for the 6th seed are the Dolphins/Jets who will play each other twice... Bias aside, lets just say, they are 2 .500 teams, and they should Split..... and if that happens, we are looking at a wide open playoff spread of about 8 teams, all with 6 losses competing for a final playoff spot over 4 games..... could 1 of them get hot and go 3-1.. sure! but more than likely we will be talking about a group of 8-8's with tiebreakers in play
Miami (5-5) CAR....@NYJ...@PIT....NE....@BUF...NYJ
Jets (5-5) @BAL...MIA....OAK.....CAR....CLE....@MIA
Oakland (4-6) TEN...@DAL...@NYJ...KC.....@SD....DEN
Tennesee (4-6) @OAK..@INDY..@DEN..ARZ...@JAX...HOU
Pitt (4-6) @CLE...@BAL....MIA.....CIN....GB......CLE
Baltimore (4-6) NYJ.....PIT......MIN....@DET..NE.....@CIN
Cleveland (4-6) PIT......JAX.....@NE.....CHI...@NYJ..@PIT
San Diego (4-6) @KC....CIN.....NYG.....@DEN...OAK...KC
Buffalo (4-7) BYE....ATL....@TB.....@JAX....MIA...@NE
-Jets/Baltimore Cleveland/Pittsburgh and Ten/Oakland are big this week....
Tennessee/Oakland is more of an elimination game, and it doesnt get any easier for either team.... we can knock one of them off the list when that one is done.
-Cleveland/Pittsburgh, same scenario with the Raiders game, one of them will be pretty much wiped out and they will rematch on the final week.
-Jets/Baltimore, this one will either bunch up the group or spread it out. The Jets win, and we may be talking about a 9-7 wildcard team, the Jets lose and all of a sudden the group is clumped up, pending the Dolphins outcome
-Miami is playing out of conference, a loss will NOT be the end of the world as long as the Jets win, keeping Miami only a game behind, with a head to head to take the position back in week 13. As long as Baltimore doesnt jump ahead, we will control our own destiny til the end.
-Buffalo on a bye week, they can be winners or losers. If the Jets and Dolphins both win, they fall 2 games back, if they both lose, they will only be 1 game out of the slot.
-SD will be the most desperate in Week 12 playing against the Chiefs... this one will be an elimination game of sorts, if the Miami loss wasnt already
Week 13 (Top Wildcard team will be 6-5 or 5-6)
-Miami/NYJ, game of the week. Round one. These teams could be entering this week with 1 game lead in the race, or could be in the middle of the pack at 5-6. If the first scenario, the winner takes control with 4 weeks to go, no questions asked. If its the second, the winner should take a good lead in the chase regardless of ties (The jets might be in funny water with their 5 conference losses)
- Buffalo and Oakland are playing non-conference games.. outcomes could be of any sorts, and wont help towards tiebreakers
- Baltimore/Pittsburgh Sounds like a round robin from the prior week. If either or both get out of week 12 with a win and climb to 5-6, one of them will fall to 5-7. one may be 4-8 and completely out of the race. The winner could be as high as 6-5, and again, lets just hope its not baltimore, they are our biggest threat due to tie breakers.
-Cleveland may make a claim of their own. They face off on the Jaguars and could pull themselves into the 5 win group, if not 6 wins if they beat pitt in week 12 (and still would be behind miami due to head-to-head)
-Tennesee and San Diego, if both are still in the picture, it could get uglier. With matchups against division leaders, both will be even more desperate, of could be knocked out entirely
Week 14 (Top wildcard team could be 7-5 or 6-6)
-Miami/Pitt. If Pittsburgh hasn't been knock out yet, this one will be scary. Deep in December in Pittsburgh. --This will be the make or break part of the Phins season. Miami could be riding high with a win against the Jets and even at 6-6, would be in great shape as long as the 1 win came against the Jets. Losing both, and its not over but would be trailing NY by at least a game, if not 2. If Miami can win this one, everything will be easier
-NYJ/OAK- Kinda the same position Miami is in. NYJ is at more of a disadvantage. If they lose either of the prior 2 games, the Jets will have 6 conference losses. This game against Oak kinda becomes a must win because assuming the win 1 of the first 2, they would be 6-6, a loss here will spell 6 conference losses and put them at the brunt of the losing side of every tie breaker. Oakland could be out of the race by now, but if they get hot and win the first 2, they could be an interesting team coming out at 7-6
-Baltimore Buffalo and San Diego out of conference
-Ten/Denver If tennessee is still alive, this will probably be the back breaker.... enough said
-CLE/NE kinda like Oakland. If they can make it this far in the race, no one will expect much more. They have beaten NE in the past, but who knows.
Week 15 (Top Wildcard team could be 8-5, probably 7-6)
-MIA/NE- Huge game, but no one really expects a win here. If Miami beat the Jets and the Steelers sitting at 7-6, a loss here would be almost affordable. coming out a 7-7 Miami would still be in good shape, trailing by 1 game with tie breaker advantages against everyone not named Baltimore
-JETS/CAR- If the Jets beat Miami in Week 13, they will still be alive and kicking, if they lost to Miami or Oakland, or both, they might as well turn in the towel before hand due to the conference record. Winning out would be their only chance really
OAK/KC- If they get past the Jets, this could be interesting, if not. They are out of it
PIT/CIN- If Pitt gets through their own little crucible, it isnt over. Getting past Balt CLE and Miami is no easy task for a team that started out so ugly. Well, even with 3 wins, lets ust say, there is no way they get that far and this one too. No way in hell is Pitt gonna come out of week 15 with an 8-6 record.
BUF/JAX- If Buffalo is still alive after a non conference game, and their bye week, this one could fluff the resume a bit
SD/DEN- At this point, San Diego should be cooked and finished if not already
TEN BALT & CLE out of conference
Week 16 (Top Wildcard team 8-6, again, very likely 7-7)
Mia/BUF- critical game. Even at 7-7, and Miami won the important 2, Jets& PIT, this one is just as critical, Win this, get to 8 wins, and wait for the final week showdown. Buffalo may be still alive this late in the year
Jets/Cle- Must win for the Jets. No questions asked, they are too far behind in the coference records, even if they won 3 of the last 4, 8-6 with 6 conference losses is just not good enough, they need to pull ahead to 9 wins if they want in.
Oak/SD- both should be gone by now
Ten/JAX- good chance for a win, but should be out of it by now
Balt/NE- This game will only matter if Baltimore won 3 of its last 4. Going in at 7-7, they can make noise, if the go 2-2 over the last 4 weeks, this won't matter
Pitt out of conference
Week 17 (Top Wildcard 9-6, more than likely 8-7)
Last week scenarios are what they are.... we'll get to it when it happens, but very realistically, there may only be 3 teams left in the chase here. and the Miami/Jets game will determine SOMETHING, and if we know the NFL, it probably will be flexed to primetime, being the last game of the regular season. Especially if both teams are 8-7 or 7-8
Again, lots of variables.... but that being said... 8-8 may be good enough to get in. There is a lot of in conference games to play. And with the middle of the pack being so tight and incomplete. There will be alot of jockeying for position.....
Miami is 5-5. 6 games to go. 3 biggest wins: Pittsburgh, NYJ, and NYJ, throw in the Buffalo game for safety, finish out 9-7, Miami should get in. 8-8 with those 3 wins may get us in as well.
4-2 the rest of the way with losses to carolina and new england, we'll live.