The Official Scenario for the Dolphins to get into the Playoffs
So there is definitely alot of confusion about how the Fins can get in.
Let's get the MUST things out of the way:
First off, Miami MUST defeat the Bills and Pats to finish the season 8-8
Pittsburgh MUST defeat the Bengals this week
Both Cincy and Pittsburgh MUST lose in week 17 so both of the teams can finish 8-8
The Jets MUST lose one of their final 2 games
Here is the breakdown:
If the Jets win their final 2 games and finish 8-8 . . . that ELIMINATES the Dolphins from the playoffs. The Jets own the tiebreaker over the Fins in that situation as they both would finish tied at 8-8 and finish 3-3 in the division and the Jets OWN the Common Games tiebreaker because of their loss to the Steelers (they still have Chargers) and the Fins 2 wins over the Bengals and Raiders (the only 2 uncommon teams for Miami). The Jets would finish 7-7 in common games while the Fins would finish 6-8 in common games.
The reason why the Jets were ELIMINATED from the playoffs with the loss to the Titans is because of their loss to the Steelers this season . . . however the Dolphins OWN the tiebreaker over the Steelers because of conference record. The Fins would be 6-6 in the AFC while the Steelers would be 5-7. Even tho the Dolphins OWN the tiebreaker over the Steelers they would never be in a position to use this advantage if the Jets win the Divisional tiebreak (common games) over us.
If the Bengals finish 8-8 (lose final 2 games) they are eliminated as they lose the tiebreak to the Steelers via head to head. Our win over the Bengals has absolutely no effect on anything (outside of being one of the AFC victories that helped us get a better conference record over the Steelers).
I know this can be confusing, but there it is in a nutshell. If The Fins defeat the Bills this week and the Steelers defeat the Bengals . . . we go into week 17 with a chance.