Dolphins Out of the Playoffs Again, but Coach Philbin Will Return Next Season

What we have here is your classic good-news/bad-news situation.

The bad news: The Dolphins were eliminated from playoff contention when the Steelers beat the Chiefs Sunday.

The good news: The Fins still had a game to finish, and finish they did.

Then there's the news that could be either good or bad, depending upon where you stand: Joe Philbin will return as the coach of the Miami Dolphins in 2015.

With the game tied and less than a minute remaining, the Vikings attempted a punt inside their own ten-yard line -- "attempted" being the key word here. The snap was poor, giving rookie seventh-round pick Terrence Fede enough time to get his hand on the ball, blocking it out of the end zone.

Dolphins 37, Vikings 35. Game. Over. Fins Up.

Sadly, this win quickly became meaningless because other results around the league went poorly for the Dolphins, officially eliminating the team from the postseason yet again. Another season will end in Week 17, and another season will be chalked up as an epic disappointment.

The only thing on the line at this point is the team's draft position, because who the coach will be next year is no longer a mystery. Owner Stephen Ross, possibly drunk on excitement after the game, announced that Joe Philbin will be back next season to coach the team. Yes, 23-24 coach Joe Philbin will be back for a fourth year at the helm.

Apparently all the talk about the Dolphins going after soon-to-be-ex-49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was just that -- talk. The Dolphins will give it one more go with Philbin, and you have to assume most of the staff will also stay in place, including GM Dennis Hickey. At this point, you have to wonder if the Dolphins' bigger problem is the owner, not the coach.

The win ensures the Dolphins won't finish the year with a losing record, so that's something for those of you out there who are into those kinds of moral victories and such. The worst the Dolphins can now do is finish 8-8 if they lose to the Jets.

December 30 marks 14 years since the last Miami Dolphins' playoff victory, so happy anniversary in advance, Dolphins fans. This also will be the sixth straight year without a playoff appearance, for those counting at home. Not fun!

Another year, another meaningless end to the regular season. 'Tis the season of a Miami Dolphins fan.

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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