On Christmas Eve, old Saint Nick brought Miami Dolphins fans an amazeballs 34-31 win over the Buffalo Bills. The victory was the tenth of the year for the Dolphins and, according to Nate Silver and the website FiveThirtyEight, moved their chances of making the playoffs to 92 percent. A Kansas City Chiefs win over the Denver Broncos Christmas Day would bring that number to 100-holy-shit-the-Dolphins-are-in-the-NFL-playoffs-percent.
Well, the Chiefs won. Your Miami Football Dolphins are officially NFL playoffs-bound. Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals. Somebody slap my ass and call me a pretty pony — the Miami Dolphins aren't a complete failure this year! #Blessed.
The Chiefs' win over the Broncos means next week's season finale against the New England Patriots is about positioning in the playoffs for both teams and no longer about the Dolphins needing a win to ensure themselves a playoff birth. It's one thing to make the playoffs, but it's an entirely different thing to clinch in Week 15 and have to worry only about comfort in the final game of the season.
Now the Dolphins have an outside shot at the fifth seed in the AFC. Even if the Dolphins are able to beat a Patriots team looking to secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, they'll need a little help to jump to the fifth seed in the AFC.
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In addition to a Dolphins win over New England next weekend, the Chiefs would also need to lose to the San Diego Chargers for the Dolphins to score the AFC's fifth seed.
Good news: The Chargers will be playing what is likely their last game in San Diego, so there should be some emotion involved. Bad news: The Chargers lost to the Cleveland Browns last week.
But for now, scenario time is over. The Miami Dolphins are back in the playoffs. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.