I can hear Jim Mora now “Don’t talk about — playoffs?!?”
Yes we are talking about Miami Dolphins and playoffs in the same sentence.
The new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) gave the league owners the option to expand the NFL Playoffs from 12 qualifying team to 14. The league owners voted today to exercise that change.
In the expanded format there would be an additional team from each conference in the playoffs. Only the top seed in each conference would receive a first round bye rather than the top two.
Wild Card games for each conference would include:
#2 (Home) vs #7 (Visitor)
#3 (Home) vs #6 (Visitor)
#4 (Home) vs #5 (Visitor)
In a previous article that analyzed the impact of the CBA decision for the Dolphins, it was noted that expanded playoffs did not benefit the Dolphins.
“The Miami Dolphins made the playoffs once in the last 10 years. If the new playoff structure was applied to the previous 10 seasons the Dolphins would have no additional playoff appearances.”
That was the Dolphins of the past though! Mathematically, ten wins should guarantee a playoff spot. Winning nine games gives a team a good shot.
Betting odds have Miami around six wins in 2020. Two of Miami’s five wins in 2019 were against playoff teams. Miami also finished the season strong winning five of their final nine games. It is not far fetched to see them win nine games in 2020.
The expanded format increases the odds for all teams to make the playoffs; and for the Dolphins, the timing seems to be just right.