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NFL playoff picture: Who to root for in Week 17 if you are a Miami Dolphins fan

Week 17 is here and the Miami Dolphins are in the thick of the wild card race. Who should Dolphins fans root for to help their chances?

Fans of the Miami Dolphins cheer on during the game against the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium on December 19, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

UPDATE: The Chargers beat the Broncos and that officially eliminated the Dolphins from playoff contention.

Results: The Dolphins were thumped by the Titans and their playoff hopes are on life support. They drop out of the final wild card berth. The Raiders beat the Colts and now it’s Las Vegas in sixth and Indianapolis in seventh pending the Chargers result. If LA wins — they’re leading — it will be LA in sixth and Indianapolis in seventh. The Patriots and Bills won, while the Ravens lost.

The Miami Dolphins are making an unprecedented run in the back half of the 2021 NFL season. Miami started 1-7 and has become the first team to turn things around and win seven straight. They have climbed all the way into seventh place, which is the final wild card berth. If they clinch a playoff berth, they will be the first team to do so after a 1-7 start.

Miami’s seven-game win streak hasn’t been the most impressive of streaks. After beating a Lamar Jackson-led Ravens squad, they have two wins over the Jets and wins over the Panthers, Giants, and a Saints squad that sent out Ian Book for his first career start.

But if they do clinch a playoff berth, they’ll have earned it these final two weeks. The Dolphins face the Titans on the road and the Patriots at home. Miami beat the Patriots in Week 1 before things went south for two months, so that’s a particularly intriguing matchup. They are currently 8-7 and one game back of Buffalo and New England.

Both games offer the Dolphins a huge opportunity, and a little help could further improve their playoff chances. If you are a Dolphins fan, here’s the games to watch in Week 17.

Jaguars vs. Patriots

Dolphins fans can hop for miracles, right? The Dolphins can still win the division with a Patriots win here, so no need to get too hopeful of the upset. The Patriots are a 16-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Falcons vs. Bills

The Bills swept the season series with the Dolphins, so a Buffalo win eliminates Miami from division title contention. The Bills are 14-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Raiders vs. Colts

Miami could move past Indianapolis with two wins and two Colts losses these final two weeks, but that’s asking a lot. The Raiders are tied with the Dolphins at 8-7 and Dolphins fans would love to see all the other 8-7 teams lose this weekend — especially because Las Vegas has the tiebreaker over Miami.

The Raiders are seven-point underdogs at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Rams vs. Ravens

Miami has the tiebreaker edge on Baltimore via head-to-head and conference records, but breathing room would be welcome. Go Rams.

The Ravens are 3.5-point underdogs at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Broncos vs. Chargers

The Chargers are tied with the Dolphins and the Broncos are a game back. Again, the 8-7 team needs to lose, so Dolphins fans are rooting for the Broncos. Denver is a 6.5-point underdog at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Browns vs. Steelers

The Steelers are approximately a half-game back of the Dolphins while the Browns are a full game back. A Steelers loss helps a little bit more.

The Browns are 3.5-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook.