Why the Miami Dolphins Are a Dark Horse Contender to Make the Playoffs

By Derek Ferreira
Oct. 28, 2016

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

We're already in Week 8 of the 2016 NFL season. A few teams have already made a name fo themselves as strong playoff contenders like the New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys. There are even a few surprising division leaders like the Oakland Raiders and the Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta hasn't played a postseason game since 2012, and the Raiders haven't been to the postseason since making the Super Bowl in 2002.

I believe they're other teams that have a shot of making the postseason in 2016? I will tell you why we should watch out for the Miami Dolphins in the second half of the season.

I know people are saying that I'm nuts, but the Dolphins have a shot at making the postseason, as we start Week 8. Not only are the Dolphins playing better football under Adam Gase, but they only play three good teams in the second half of the season. Miami is sitting at 3-4 and had one bad defeat. Those losses came from the Bengals, the Seahawks, the Patriots, and the Titans.

Miami does end the season with the Patriots, but will the Patriots rest their important players if they can lock up the AFC? The Chargers are getting back into winning and play them in three weeks. But, what about the Arizona Cardinals and that rematch against the Buffalo Bills. Also, they play the San Francisco 49ers, the Los Angeles Rams, and two AFC rival games against the New York Jets.

Am I crazy to believe that this team can go 10-6 and clinch an AFC Wild Card spot? Their schedule won't help if there is a tiebreaker, but in the worst case scenario, they could finish around .500. The Dolphins are great in the pass rush. They've found a great running back in Jay Ajayi. That takes the pressure off Ryan Tannehill. Maybe Ajayi's running game helps Tannehill make more plays and helps him target his No. 1 wideout in Jarvis Landry.

Gase has lit a fire with the Dolphins after the loss to Tennessee, in which he cut three players. Playing in Miami will help the Dolphins with their running game. I understand that Miami is not going to win the AFC East, but if there is a Wild Card spot, I can see them get the No. 6 seed.