Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dolphins Hold The Key

December 16, 2009

Last week we took a look at the Dolphins place in the wild card race. After their win against Jacksonville, the Miami Dolphins are now in sixth place in AFC. They are tied with Jacksonville, Baltimore and and New York at 7-6, but currently hold the tie breaker.

Miami's only concern, besides winning their last three, is Baltimore. If the Ravens and Dolphins finish with identical records, they will go to the 4th tie-breaker in the NFL's wild card tie-breaking procedures, strength of victory.

Strength of victory is calculated by adding together the amount of wins by teams that a club defeated. Currently, teams that Miami beat have a total of 40 wins. Teams that Baltimore beat have 33.

The Dolphins and Ravens both play Pittsburgh but Baltimore has the weaker remaining schedule which should be enough for the Dolphins to clinch as long as they do their part. If Miami were to lose a game they would need Baltimore to lose to Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh is the only conference game remaining Baltimore's schedule. Miami's last three games are in-conference. The second wild card tie-breaker is win-tied-lose percentage versus conference opponents. Both teams have 4 conference loses.

Miami still has a chance to repeat as AFC East champion. If The Patriots lose any of their last three and Miami wins out the Dolphins would clinch back-to-back division titles. The scenarios play out as follows:
  • If Miami wins out and New England loses to Buffalo, Miami will have a better division record and clinch.
  • If Miami wins out and New England loses a game that's not to Buffalo, both teams would be 8-4 in like games but the Dolphins would have a better record, 8-4 as opposed to 7-5, against AFC teams and win the tie breaker.
Miami has a good chance, if they can beat the Texans week 16. Miami is 0-4 all-time versus Houston. All four loses have come by a total of sevens points.

For now the Dolphins will give their attention to the task at hand - beating the Titans. Vince Young has yet to practice this week and is day-to-day but Chris Johnson is the biggest threat. Don't count out Kerry Collins who was 12-2 as a starter last year in the regular season.

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