Week 17: The Bills, The Playoffs, The Scenarios

I won’t bore you with what we already know.   The Dolphins will make the playoffs 4 different ways.  A loss by Browns, Ravens, or Colts or a Dolphin win.

The troubling part is that all 4 of the teams we need to win will be big underdogs.  The Steelers were our best shot, and they (correctly) will rest their starters.  In years past, you might as well look onto 2021.  The Dolphins NEVER ever seem to get help when we need it.  But 2020 is insane, and good things happen to us.

Just last weekend, the Jets beat the Browns, which was miracle #2 after our own lucky win at the Raiders (which was obviously miracle #1).

The road to the playoffs is tough, but not impossible.  I don’t expect the Bills to lay down.  While they don’t want to face the Ravens or the Titans in the playoffs, they would certainly rather face the Browns over the Dolphins.  Browns are an easy playoff win, whereas the Dolphins are an intangible upset machine. Plus, you never want to lay down and allow your division rival to come to your house and make the playoffs at your expense.  So the Bills will try to beat Miami and see if the Browns can take over our current playoff spot.

Brian Flores must have the guys ready to win OUR OWN game.  No scoreboard watching.

If we lose, then we worry about the other help.   3 games are early, and the Colts game is late.

Root extra-double passionately for the Bengals.  A Bengal win gets us into the playoffs AND assures that Houston’s pick will come before Cincy’s!!

Also, finally, let’s not kid ourselves, as the Dolphins are not poised to beat the Saints or Chiefs or Packers or other legit contenders.  Usually I say “just making it” into the playoffs is not a good goal to have:  it must instead be Super Bowl win or nothing.   But in this case of 2020, considering where we were last year, getting a playoff game under our belts would be incredibly impressive.


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  1. Author

    Here’s more proof how how complex the Houston draft pick can be after Week 17:

    Atlanta is the key to much of this. I’ve been rooting for them to get that 5th win for a long time, and they have been choking week after week after week. I haven’t seen a team blow so many big leads since that one Super Bowl where a team led by 25 points with a few minutes to go and blew it….oh yeah, that was Atlanta too. 😉

  2. Author

    An update on the 2021 draft: If Houston loses (to the Titans) on Sunday, then the Dolphins have locked the #3 overall pick.
    Tennessee has something to play for, as they have not clinched their division yet, and they can still be eliminated from the playoffs all together.
    The outcome of the Titans/Texans game is irrelevant for the Dolphins’ playoff scenarios, but it’s hugely important for the 2021 draft.

  3. Good article as always. However I will not be satisfied with just making the playoffs. Sure we won’t make it to the AFC title game or the super bowl, but I just want one playoff win. That’s not too much to ask.

    1. Author

      Well, yes, we won’t be satisfied until we win a championship, but NFL champions are often stepping-stone successes. The Chiefs had to lose the 2018 AFC title game before winning the 2019 Super Bowl. You have to take the proper steps, and it seems like we are.
      But…I feel that “almost” making the playoffs and “staying alive until week 17” are not real steps. Making the playoffs is a real first step.

  4. It would be so amazing if we make the playoffs! I just want to get that experience for this young team and if it happens, it is way sooner than any of us expected! If we don’t make it, it’s been such a successful season as it stands. We just need to win this week and prove we belong!

  5. Author

    I will always remember Week 17 of 2017. (The Jay Cutler year). The Dolphins played at the Bills. We were already eliminated from the playoffs, but the Bills had to win and get in.
    In my book, you play hard and try to keep a division rival out of the playoffs. Adam Gase did not see it that way.
    Rather than try to win, Gase instead let his buddy David Fales play QB over a healthy Jay Cutler. Gase rested other key starters as well.
    He didn’t even try.
    This was the game where Drake and Parker and Landry all went nuts and tried to fight the Bills. At least they showed passion when Coach Gase wouldn’t.

  6. I hope the phins have turned off the Tube and are focusing on this weeks game against Bills. The phins, Flores, Fitzpatrick are getting an awful lot of praise, hype, and press this week which can be distracting. The last time this team and Tua got similar hype & praise, we laid an egg in Denver. Go Phins!

  7. Uh oh!!! Fitzpatrick has Covid!!! Hopefully not Tua as well!!!!

      1. Nope it may end up being a good thing as Fitz won’t be a crutch. Now Tua will have a legit chance to show his wares. Chan has said that he play calls for the situation so we’ll see if he allows Tua to open it up if needed. I bet he does as it happened in zona game when behind. Let’s see what happens.. .

        1. With contact tracing, however, they might have to bench Tua as a precaution. League rules state that if you’ve been in contact with someone you yourself are ineligible. Almost guarantee that Tua and Fitz have been in a meeting together

  8. Looks like Jake Rudock may be starting

    1. Jay Cutler warming up. The NFL just said that Tua is eligible as of now.

      1. If this were the Steelers, the league would postpone the game for nine days and play it a week from Next Wednesday like they did win a couple of ravens and a couple of Steelers got Covid

        1. How true!
          Our two backups have a combined total of five career pass attempts and one INT. God help us!

  9. Ugh, this is one reason why we should’ve kept Josh Rosen as a 3rd string. Can we at least get Matt Moore back.

  10. Google weather says chance of snow on Sunday
    Tua says he has played in snow but has seen snow before. God help us!

  11. correction: Tua says he has NOT played in snow before but has seen snow before

    1. wow, you would think they would play in snow at the college level…then again Alabama might play mostly southern teams. We are so screwed.

      1. actually snow usually creates separation for receivers so this may end up helping Tua. Just as long as he doesn’t slip all over the place! Now if its windy and snowing that’s another thing all together….

  12. As of now they’re saying Tua wasn’t in close contact. I don’t know how that’s possible, but we’ll have to wait and see! Tua will probably test positive on Saturday! Fuck!

    1. If he’s been wearing a mask and has been testing negative then he’s probably ok. On the sideline he was always wearing a mask but can’t say that for some others I see it every game…

  13. Maybe this will be a positive for Tua, he does not have Daddy FitzMagic in Relief, so he’s got to figure it out. play more aggressively, take some chances. I hope!

    1. I think this being more of a defensive coaching staff the game plan revolves around ball security and killing clock. They mentioned in the last game that even though it looks like Fitz is airing it out all over that is usually only when behind the first few quarters are all high percentage play calling drives. I don’t see much changing if the weather is bad in Buffalo either unless they fall behind that is. At least we can see Tua play a whole game under these circumstances let’s see how he does. I feel pretty confident in his future he hasn’t even had a full off-season and they’re still doing better than most thought.

  14. I have a feeling that Tua’s coaches, knowing that there is no fitzmagic in relief, may be too overly cautious with not calling any rollouts or rpo’s – which is what Tua actually does very well (if he’s not injured at all) .

    To me, Tua is at his best, when allowed to run, without any hesitation, which seems to have been missing in the last few games. And he just looks like he’s a lot more effective, when given this freedom.

    Let’s hope that his coaches decide to change things up a bit, and not worry about keeping their jobs as much. Yes, I know that it’s very easy for us to say, not getting paid by the fins ourselves, but I just think they need to be extra aggressive, if they want playoff results, because I don’t think any of the other teams will be helping them out, not one of them.

  15. Let’s face it, it’s mostly going to fall on the defense like a majority of the season. But, it’s going to be interesting to see how Tua reacts. He’s been in big college games and this is pretty much playoff scenario, however he is still a rookie and he has had some impressive drives throughout the year, but fuck it, I hope it’s gonna be fun to watch!

    1. If anything this is a great experience for not only Tua but the entire team. This is virtually a playoff game and now is the time to learn better than next year being the first experience. Would be great if they can get another one in but either way I’m happy with the progress. I expect them to continue with the ball control offense but who knows maybe they’ll surprise us a bit. Of course it would help if some receivers would come back. Apparently DVP was running well in practice…

      1. Agreed. It would be awesome if we get Parker back and man are we missing Preston Williams!

  16. We need both Gaskin and Parker to be in the game to have a chance. Especially with Grant out. Tua has impressed me at times, I’m far from giving up on him. I think it will be a good close game.

  17. Good luck to our boys today. No matter the outcome it was a fun season. I do hope it’s not our last game though. Time for Tua to show off his skills.

    1. Couldn’t have asked for more bills sitting some good players and Fins get back a few from injury. Get’er done Fins just win it!

  18. I like Tua. He’s a good kid. But we really need to think hard about this pick in the draft if a QB is available.

    1. Agreed. Love the kid but he just looks lost out there. He hasn’t gotten a lot of help from his receivers but still.. just awful. Even if we wait until rounds 2-3 I think it would be wise to take a flyer on a guy with some upside. Especially if a Trey Lance or Zach Wilson slide a little…. That might be awful tempting…

      1. I’m not against taking another QB as you should always have a few especially if Fitz leaves. Hedge your bets as well. But I wouldn’t take one at 3 either late in the first or second max even a little later would be best.

        1. I agree, I don’t like it at three, after Trevor Lawrence there just isn’t a sure fire franchise QB in my opinion. Fields has potential but he’s not a sure thing by any means. So better to take the approach of waiting and seeing who falls later in the round or the second and hope you get lucky.

  19. One more quick thought. While Tua was pretty abysmal this was a loss in just about every phase of the game. As much as I would have loved the excitement of being in the playoffs I think this proved we’re not ready yet. We definitely need at least one more good draft and off-season… And an answer at QB whether that’s a greatly improved Tua, someone in the draft… Or maybe some other crazy scenario (can Wentz be salvaged? What would it cost us to find out?)…

  20. Number three pick is confirmed at least they have that going for them 18 is their own pick. Lots of options which is better than some teams have. They should be able to fix a lot of problems…

  21. Tua is a decent college QB when he had a great supporting cast. He is an average pro QB. He cannot throw deep, and crumbles under pressure. Need to draft a new QB and move on.

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