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How can Dolphins clinch a playoff berth in Week 18?

The Dolphins are on the verge of a playoff berth. We break down how they can clinch a spot in the 2023 NFL Playoffs in Week 18.

Miami Dolphins running back Raheem Mostert (31) celebrates his touchdown with Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) during a game between the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins on January 1, 2023, at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Sunday afternoon update: The Dolphins defeated the Jets on a late field goal, and will likely be clinching a playoff berth officially soon. The Bills hold a two-score lead over the Patriots late in the fourth quarter and have the ball, so it’s unlikely New England comes back.


The Miami Dolphins head into Week 18 with a chance to clinch the final wild card berth. They need some help, but they have a decent shot at it. It’s not a walk in the park due to injuries, but they have a clear road to the playoffs.

The Dolphins face the New York Jets and are a 3.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook. First and foremost, Miami needs to win this game. They’ll be sending out Skylar Thompson at quarterback due to injuries to Tua Tagovailoa and Teddy Bridgewater. The Jets are sending out Joe Flacco due to Mike White’s rib injuries and Zach Wilson’s ineffectiveness. This game is as much a toss-up as any in Week 18.

If the Dolphins beat the Jets, they can clinch a playoff berth if the Patriots lose or tie the Bills. New England is traveling to Buffalo for this one and the Bills have something to play for. Buffalo can’t claim the No. 1 seed, but they can still force the AFC title game to be played on a neutral site if they win and face the Chiefs. The Bills are a 7.5-point favorite against the Patriots.

The Dolphins can also clinch a playoff berth with a tie, a Patriots loss, and a Steelers loss or tie against the Browns. The Steelers are a 2.5-point favorite against the Browns.