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NFL playoff picture: What does Jets-Dolphins mean for AFC standings

The Jets face the Dolphins in Miami on Sunday. We break down what the game means for the NFL playoff picture.

A general view of Hard Rock Stadium during the fourth quarter between the Miami Dolphins and the Houston Texans on November 07, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Result: The Dolphins nearly blew it but held on to beat the Jets 31-24. They improved to 7-7 with the win and remain in the thick of the wild card race. Miami is in 12th place but are only a game back of the three teams in fifth through seventh place (Indy, LA, Buffalo). With games remaining against the Saints, Titans, and Patriots, the Dolphins will really have to earn a playoff berth.

The NFL is coming down the home stretch with four weeks of regular season games remaining. There will be some matchups with huge playoff implications for both teams, like Raiders-Browns and Patriots-Colts this Saturday. Then there are games like Sunday’s Jets-Dolphins game. The playoff implications are huge for one team and non-existent for the other. The two squads kick off at 1 p.m. on Sunday, with the game airing on CBS.

AFC playoff picture

The Dolphins have quietly gotten on a roll. After a 1-7 start, Miami has won five straight to improve to 6-7. They are in third place in the AFC East and only a game back of the second place Bills. They are in 13th place in the overall AFC standings, but they’re only a game out of two of the wild card berths. There are five teams sitting at 7-6 with the Colts and Bills in the final two wild card berths followed by the Browns, Bengals, and Broncos. The 6-6-1 Steelers are in 11th and the 6-7 Raiders have the head-to-head tiebreaker edge over the Dolphins.

As for the Jets? They were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention last week. I’m sure it was a shock to many.

Relevant Week 15 AFC schedule

#3 Chiefs (9-4) @ #5 Chargers (8-5)
#12 Raiders (6-7) @ #8 Browns (7-6)
#1 Patriots (9-4) @ #6 Colts (7-6)
Panthers (5-8) @ #7 Bills (7-6)
#2 Titans (9-4) @ #11 Steelers (6-6-1)
#9 Bengals (7-6) @ #10 Broncos (7-6)