Miami Dolphins Lose Fourth Straight Game, NFL Playoff Chances Continue to Fade | New Times Broward-Palm Beach


So You're Saying There's (Still) a Chance: Dolphins Playoff Chances Dwindle After 26-20 Loss

The only thing colder than the weather at Hard Rock Stadium on Christmas Day was the Miami Dolphins.
The only thing colder than the weather at Hard Rock Stadium on Christmas Day was the Miami Dolphins. Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images
Prior to this past weekend's slate of games, things were looking up when it came to the Miami Dolphins' chances of making only their third postseason appearance since 2001. Miami had a 76 percent chance of making the playoffs heading into Week 16, and as things unfolded, those odds shot up to 83 percent thanks to losses by the New England Patriots, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, and Tennessee Titans.

Good news! Prepare your postseason Publix party platter preorders, right?

Sadly, not so fast. Dolphins fans have seen this movie many times before.

Having experienced our fair share of colossal late-season disappointments, Dolphins fans have long understood a good chance of making the playoffs is never good enough. Not in any year, but especially in the midst of an 0-3 December losing skid heading into a Christmas afternoon matchup against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

As it turns out, the prospects, and the Dolphins' playoff chances, indeed took a predictably precipitous nosedive on Sunday once the Dolphins had a say in their own destiny, which added up to a 26-20 defeat at the hands of the Packers.
Three Tua Tagovailoa fourth-quarter interceptions — the last of which was as brutal as they come — and overall uninspired performance added up to a Dolphins loss that dropped the team's chances of making the playoffs down to 66 percent.

Remarkably (if you're a Phins fan), the team is still in the driver's seat heading into the final two weeks of the season, but the situation is light years away from the 92 percent bet they would have been with a win over Green Bay.

After a hot start on Sunday that featured nearly 250 yards on his first nine completions, including an 84-yard touchdown pass to Jaylen Waddle, Tua and the Dolphins' offense imploded in the second half against the Packers, unable to capitalize on a rare good showing by the team's defense.

From the top seed in the AFC a few weeks ago to clinging to a final playoff spot entering the final weeks of the season. Ah, yes — it's definitely beginning to feel a lot like Christmas at Hard Rock Stadium.
As Barry Jackson from the Miami Herald and Joe Schad from the Palm Beach Post both pointed out on Twitter, the Dolphins are still in good shape to clinch a postseason spot. Winning their final two games against the New England Patriots and New York Jets — two equally struggling teams — would do the trick, but there are other plausible scenarios in which the Phins could squeak in with only one win.

Favorable odds or not, Dolphins fans aren't betting on seeing the team turn things around any time soon. Not until we see it with our own eyes, anyway. 
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Ryan Yousefi is a freelance writer for Miami New Times, a lover of sports, and an expert consumer of craft beer and pho. Hanley Ramirez once stole a baseball from him and to this day still owes him $10.
Contact: Ryan Yousefi

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