Dolphins Fight For Wildcard Berth: Next Stop Indy

The media is amassing around the Miami Dolphins with questions, speculation, and hopes for the playoffs. The Fins are in a five-way race for the wildcard. They’ll have to make it past Andrew Luck and the Colts who seem to be peaking at just the right time. Because of this recent surge, top NFL outlets like have the Dolphins listed as 10.5-point underdogs.

Gunning for the Wildcard

After some much-needed rest, the Miami Dolphins will get back into action against the Indianapolis Colts, one of the four other teams who have their eyes locked in on the prize of the No. 6 playoff seed. Who are the other three teams? The Cincinnati Bengals, Tennessee Titans, and Baltimore Ravens.


According to the predictive rankings algorithms at Team Rankings, The Ravens have the highest probability of making it into the playoffs. The Ravens have an arguably tougher remaining schedule (No. 18), so we must assume that the Fins bringing up the rear in the playoff probability department is because of the uncertainties at QB. Will Tannehill make it back and be at full capacity? Or will it be Luck vs. Osweiler in Week 12?


Assuming the Fins make it past luck, they’ll have Tom Brady and the Pats on the remaining schedule, but they get the Bills twice and a dose of both the Vikings and the Jags for the No. 27 remaining strength of schedule. The Ravens must face the Rams and the Chiefs. The Bengals get the Steelers and Chargers on top of a double dose of the Browns topped off with a frosted coating of the Broncos and Raiders. And the Titans have it rough with the Texans, Jags, Redskins, Colts, and the Giants twice.

Luck of the Colts

The Colts have won four straight games. In that time, they have averaged 36.5 points per game, making them suddenly, one of the most potent offenses in the NFL. In their most recent outing against the Titans, Luck passed for three TDs and just a hair under 300 yards on the day. Unfortunately for the Titans, T.Y. Hilton has woke up, and the Luck-Hilton connection ran strong.


This is where the bruised Miami defense really needed the extra time off. With the Colts in their current form, many think that this is the toughest game remaining on the Dolphins’ schedule. What’s left of the Miami D has to step up and perform closer to how they did early in the season. We have to assume that if Ryan Tannehill plays, he won’t be at one-hundred percent.


The Dolphins have allowed 30 points to opposing teams while on the road. That number fits right in with the overall Colts home-scoring number of 32.20 points per game. The defense must play well because as you know, the Fins have been a bit point-deficient as of late. They are now averaging just 19.90 points per game on the season. The bright side of this is the Colts don’t have a marvelous defense. They are allowing just 0.7 points less per game than the Fins on average.


Andrew Luck has had wonderful protection over his last few games. He has been able to just stand there in the pocket with all day to throw. Quinn, Wake, Spence, and Godchaux are going to have to get some penetration and put some pressure on Luck if the Dolphins want to win this game. Of course, the rest of the defense must do their part as well, but it all starts up front. Andrew Luck cannot be allowed to take his sweet time passing the ball.


If the boys up front can hurry Luck up a bit, then the Dolphins have a good chance at keeping the score manageable. This is going to be a hard fought battle up in the chilled Indianapolis air, but this is a game that can be won.