Armando Salguero

Dolphins must do something they haven’t done since 2012 to make the playoffs

Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh believes the team has a shot to make the playoffs.
Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh believes the team has a shot to make the playoffs. ctrainor@miamiherald.com

Dolphins coach Adam Gase went all extinguisher on playoff talk Monday, dousing a question about whether he looked at various playoff scenarios for his team with this answer:

“I don’t,” Gase growled. “I never spend any time on it.”

Well something changed by Wednesday because Gase was much more entertaining of playoff talk in speaking to local reporters and those from Kansas City on a conference call. And he may have talked to his team about it also because the players are quite aware they still have a small chance.

“I mean they’re aware,” Gase said. “They’re aware. You just keep telling them play until somebody tells you not to. Our job is to win one game.

“Our guys are focused on this game,” he continued with the KC scribes. “One thing that we’ve made an emphasis on is in the NFL, as soon as everybody starts saying you’re out of something, all of a sudden you get thrown back in the mix. Our job is to go out there and try to win one game and see what happens.

“We really lost control of our own destiny after last week, but there’s a lot of things that possibly could happen. But we’ve got to take care of our own business before worrying about anybody else.”

Even Ndamukong Suh, often stoic and calculated about what he tells reporters, sounded a chord of optimism about what the Dolphins might be able to do if everything falls just right.

“We’ve got a shot,” he said before threatening to beat up anyone who disagreed.

(Just kidding. He didn’t threaten anyone.)

“That’s all that matters. We’ve got to go out there and finish and take care of business. We’ve got a great Kansas City team that we’re going to go and play against. (They have) guys that I’ve seen and played against before and guys that I haven’t played against before. That’s where we’ve got to take care of business.”

Just to be clear, if the Dolphins make the playoffs it is because the Earth tilted on its axis and several teams previously scheduled to make the playoffs simply fell off the planet. Well, not that bad.

The folks at numberFire.com list Miami’s chances of making the playoffs at 3.4 percent. Miami’s chances of actually winning in Kansas City on Sunday is 19.2 percent.

Here’s what has to happen in order of probability to, you know, actually get the Dolphins in the playoffs:

  • The New England Patriots must beat the visiting Buffalo Bills on Sunday. (That can happen).
  • The Oakland Raiders must lose at least one game. (That can happen because they travel to Philadelphia this week and finish on the road against San Diego.)
  • The Tennessee Titans must lose both their remaining games. (That can happen because they play the Los Angeles Rams and the Jacksonville Jaguars, both of which are Super Bowl contenders.)
  • The Indianapolis Colts must beat the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore this week and then the Ravens need to lose to Cincinnati the following week. (Yikes.)
  • The Dolphins must win out.

Brakes screech. Fun time over.

I don’t see the Ravens laying such an enormous egg. But suppose they do. Then the scenario shifts to the Dolphins.

And of all the things I trust least to happen is for this Dolphins team to piece together back-to-back victories at Kansas City and at home against Buffalo -- two teams with winning records.

The Dolphins haven’t been able to do that previously this year. They didn’t do it last year in Gase’s first season, either.

In fact, the Dolphins haven’t beaten teams with winning records on consecutive weeks since 2012 when Joe Philbin’s first Dolphins team beat the 3-1 Cincinnati Bengals on Oct. 7 and followed that with a victory over the 3-2 St. Louis Rams on Oct. 14.

So it has been five years since the Dolphins won back-to-back games against winning teams.

But enough of this reality thing.

These Dolphins are not out of it!

I’m saying there’s a chance.

Why not us?

It could happen!

“We know that,” Jay Cutler said Wednesday. “The locker room knows that. It doesn’t matter the situation. This is a team that’s not going to quit. We’ve done it all year long. We’ve played hard in the fourth quarter, and we’re going to play hard in the fourth quarter this [week].”

[Personal note: I was not drinking during the writing of this post on the Dolphins possibly reaching the playoff. Much.]

Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

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