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How can Dolphins clinch a playoff spot in Week 16?

We discuss the scenarios that could see the Miami Dolphins clinching a playoff spot in Week 16.

Raheem Mostert #31 of the Miami Dolphins celebrates after a second quarter touchdown against the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium on December 17, 2023 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Photo by Rich Storry/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins are cruising in the AFC East, and Week 15 moved them a little closer to punching their ticket in the 2024 NFL Playoffs. They crushed the Jets 30-0 to improve to 10-4. They maintained their two game lead over the Bills and remain one game back of the Ravens for the No. 1 seed in the conference.

The Dolphins head into Week 16 with several clinching scenarios, and they can lock up the division with some help.

UPDATE: The Dolphins beat the Cowboys to clinch a playoff berth. The Bills beat the Chargers, so Miami did not clinch the AFC East title yet.

Miami Dolphins playoff clinching scenarios - Week 16

AFC East title

  • MIA win + BUF loss/tie
  • MIA tie + BUF loss

Playoff berth

  • MIA win
  • MIA tie + JAX loss
  • MIA tie + CIN loss/tie + IND loss/tie
  • MIA tie + CIN loss/tie + HOU loss/tie
  • MIA tie + HOU loss + IND loss
  • MIA tie + CLE loss + IND loss/tie

The Dolphins host the Dallas Cowboys and are a 1.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook. Both teams had been playing solid football, although Dallas is coming off a thumping at the hands of the Bills.

Buffalo is traveling to face the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday. The Chargers are a mess with Justin Herbert done for the year and are a 10.5-point underdog. Upsets do happen, but it seems unlikely the Dolphins get the help they need.

The other relevant point spreads:

Jaguars (-1) @ Buccaneers
Bengals (-1.5) @ Steelers
Colts (+1) @ Falcons
Texans (-2.5) vs. Browns