Sunday's game is going to help in determining the final wild card spot in the AFC. This is based upon two assumptions:
1) Assuming the KC/Denver loser of the AFC West division title doesn't completely callapse.
2) Assuming that our O-line gets it's act together and can at least keep Tannehill upright (allow only 2 sacks a game) and be able to allow us to rush for 80 yards a game.
If assumption number 2 doesn't come to pass then we will be battling for a top 5 pick in next years draft, because I doubt we can win another game without assumption number 2 coming to pass.
If these two assumptions do hold up then, Sunday's game is gonna be our first playoff game this season. The loser will fall to 6 losses and lose the tie breaker with the other.
That's the key down the stretch, to beat other teams in the hunt. Get the tie breaker advantage on them with head to head and then with division and conference records coming into play next.
As of today, here are the teams in the hunt for the 6th seed and in their proper order either due to head to head or conference/division record tiebreakers:
Jets 5-4 with 2-1 Div and 2-4 Con
Miami 4-5 with 0-2 Div and 3-3 Con
Cleveland 4-5 with 2-1 Div and 3-3 Con (Loses head to head tie breaker with Miami)
Baltimore 4-5 with 2-2 Div and 4-4 Con (Loses Div tie breaker with Cleveland first then that loses Con record against Miami)
San Diego 4-5 with 0-2 Div and 2-4 Con (Loses Con tie breaker to all 5 loss teams)
Tennessee 4-6 with 0-3 Div and 3-4 Con
Oakland 3-6 with 1-2 Div and 3-3 Con
Pittsburgh 3-6 with 1-1 Div and 3-4 Con (Loses head to head to Oakland)
Looking at our schedule we gotta beat the following: San Diego, Jets twice, Pittsburgh, New England and Buffalo. We can afford to lose to Carolina.
If we finish at 10-6 with the above wins we should get in as we would hold all the tie breakers needed for the 6 seed provided Baltimore loses.
Oakland and Tennessee play each other in 2 weeks so one goes down to 7 losses there.
Now Oakland (why am I even discussing them) still has road games at Houston, Dallas, Jets and San Diego with home games against Tennessee, KC and Denver. Put a fork in them.
Tennessee doesn't worry me at all. They have road games at Oakland, Indy, Denver and Jacksonville with only 2 home games with Arizona and Houston.
We control our own destiny, if we win our 6 remaining AFC games we are in. If we lose to New England or Buffalo and beat Carolina then we need a little help.
That brings us back to assumption number 2. Lets face it, our whole season is on the line with the O-line. We are good enough in all other areas to win out.
We don't need to be the greatest O-line in history. Just below average will actually do. If Tannehill can throw for 220 and 2-3 TDs with 80 yards rushing and a couple FGs we should be OK. Tight games but very win-able.
So Sunday is actually our first playoff game. Will our O-line hold up? Will they show us some sort of resemblance of a balanced attack?
If not, we are truly one and done.
But isn't that how the playoffs work? Its been awhile but I think so.
Dolfan since 12/25/1971