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How Dolphins can clinch a playoff berth in Week 17

The Dolphins hold the top wild card spot headed into Week 17. Here’s what they need to hold on to their spot in the 2021 NFL playoffs.

Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the Miami Dolphins celebrates his touchdown pass with Tua Tagovailoa #1, to take a 23-22 lead over the Las Vegas Raiders, during the fourth quarter at Allegiant Stadium on December 26, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins head into Week 17 with a 10-5 record and very well could be the 10-6 team that is headed home for the offseason if things don’t go their way. Miami is currently the top-ranked wild card team, but they either need a tough road win or some help to clinch a spot in the field of the 2021 NFL playoffs.

If the Dolphins beat the Bills, they’re in. The Bills have clinched the division but cannot move into the lone first round bye, so it’s unclear how much they’ll rest players for the playoffs. If the Dolphins lose to the Bills, they would clinch a playoff berth if one of the following three teams lost on Sunday: Ravens (at Bengals), Browns (vs. Steelers), Colts (vs. Jaguars). On the off-chance the Dolphins tie, they would make the playoffs with one of the four additional results: Ravens tie, Browns tie, Colts tie, OR Titans loss at Houston.

If the Dolphins win, they retain the No. 5 seed. If they lose or tie and get some help, they would be anywhere from the No. 5 to No. 7 seed.

Miami entered the 2020 season as a long-shot to make the playoffs, but a combination of Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tua Tagovailoa coupled with a solid defense has them in contention. Miami was +365 to earn a playoff berth prior to Week 1. Only five teams had longer odd at DraftKings Sportsbook.