SportsNation Blog Archives Miami Dolphins
While the Denver Broncos were taking control of the AFC West against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, the other three top AFC contenders took care of business to extend their leads atop their respective divisions. And although none has officially clinched, the Cincinnati Bengals (two games up), New England Patriots (three) and Indianapolis Colts (also three) seem destined to host playoff contests come January.
Elsewhere, the Miami Dolphins moved to .500 by hammering the New York Jets, while the Baltimore Ravens looked on after beating the rival Pittsburgh Steelers on Thanksgiving. Which wild-card contender will taste the postseason? How will the division leaders fare?
The Patriots moved to 9-3 on Sunday -- but had to eke out a win over Houston.
The Bengals topped the host Chargers 17-10, moving them to 8-4 with three home games left.
Indy hasn't looked great of late but is 8-4 and should cruise to the AFC South title.
The Dolphins and Ravens are one game ahead of a four-team pack at 5-7.
Who makes playoffs from AFC?
With each passing week, things get muddier in the AFC playoff picture. Well, not among the top five teams -- the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals all have one foot through the postseason door. But that last spot is up for grabs, with eight teams within one game of qualifying.
The New York Jets, they of a 37-14 loss at Buffalo on Sunday, are tied for the spot. The Miami Dolphins, who gave the Tampa Bay Buccaneers their first win all season, also own a 5-5 record. A trio of AFC North teams -- the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens -- all are 4-6, as are the Tennessee Titans, San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders. How will the whole thing play out?
Bucs win; are Fins finished?
In a "Monday Night Football" meeting between two of the the league's most turmoil-riddled teams, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally earned their first win, while the woebegone Miami Dolphins dropped their fourth in five to fall to 4-5. Tampa seems to be well outside the playoff race, but it could salvage some dignity in the last seven weeks. Miami, meanwhile, remains in wild-card contention. But with fallout still settling from the Richie Incognito situation, the postseason seems pretty far away.
Lines drawn in Incognito scandal
The situation that led Jonathan Martin to leave the Dolphins has dominated headlines for the past week. Some players are coming to the defense of Richie Incognito, who is suspended indefinitely for allegedly tormenting Martin, and Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland suggested that Martin physically confront Incognito as a method of dealing with the situation. Regardless of the particulars, this scandal has revealed a side of NFL locker rooms that many might prefer to keep hidden.