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How Dolphins can clinch a playoff berth in Week 17

The Miami Dolphins control their destiny heading into Week 17. We break down what they need to do and where they can land in the 2022 NFL playoffs.

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 25: Tyreek Hill #10 of the Miami Dolphins takes the field prior to a game against the Green Bay Packers at Hard Rock Stadium on December 25, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

Results update: The Dolphins lost to the Patriots 23-21 and suddenly no longer control their playoff destiny. They dropped into a tie with New England and the Patriots have the tiebreaker edge for now due to division record. However, if Miami beats the Jets in Week 18 and the Patriots lose to the Bills, Miami can still clinch a playoff berth. So, all hope is not lost.

The Miami Dolphins enter a pivotal matchup against the New England Patriots in Week 17 with playoff implications at stake. Kick off is set for 1 p.m. ET and the Dolphins are a 2.5-point underdog at DraftKings Sportsbook.

The Dolphins, after starting the season with an 8-3 record, have now lost four straight games and have seen their playoff chances dip with each defeat, but all hope is not lost. Miami can punch their ticket to the postseason outright with a win over the Patriots in Week 17, coupled with a New York Jets loss or tie against the Seattle Seahawks.

Alternatively, if the Dolphins were to tie with the Patriots on Sunday, they could still clinch a playoff spot by way of a Jets loss along with a Pittsburgh Steelers loss or tie versus the Baltimore Ravens.

Miami may need to overcome a couple of obstacles both internally and externally on Sunday. First and foremost, they will need to weather potentially unfavorable conditions and beat a strong Patriots defense led by Bill Belichick. Additionally, Tua Tagovailoa has recently re-entered the NFL’s concussion protocol. If Tagovailoa cannot suit up for Sunday, it will rest on backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to lead the Dolphins to a potential playoff-clinching victory.