With Week 13 losses by the Jaguars, Chiefs, Browns, and Steelers, most of the AFC is imploding.
The Dolphins, meanwhile, are surging.
The Miami Dolphins Control Their Own Destiny
Miami has won its last three games by a combined 58 points and will be heavily, heavily favored in its next two against the Titans and Jets.
Since Jalen Ramsey made his Dolphins debut in Week 8, Miami is first in defensive EPA (-.207) and eighth in offensive EPA (.057). The only other AFC team that ranks in the top eight in both offensive and defensive EPA? The Baltimore Ravens, who incidentally are the conference’s only other nine-win team.
But the Dolphins’ upside on both sides of the ball is higher than the Ravens’.
The Dolphins are the only NFL team since 1966 to score 70 in a game and the only AFC team in 2023 to score 40 or more points three times.
The Ravens, meanwhile, haven’t put up more than 38 this season.
Certainly, the Dolphins have played a soft schedule. No AFC team has a worse strength of schedule (.393) or strength of victory (.303).
That’s important context, for sure.
But here’s even more important context:
The Dolphins are absolutely annihilating those bad teams. They’ve won their nine games by an astounding 167 points — which is why they rank second behind the Ravens among AFC teams in point differential (+118 for Miami, +137 for Baltimore).
And all the noise that polluted social media and cable TV suggesting the Dolphins were frauds?
Keep that same energy for the Chiefs (who just lost at home to Jordan Love) and the Jaguars (who just lost at home to Jake Browning).
The Dolphins might not have any signature wins, but they don’t have any bad losses either. The Chiefs have two.
In closing, the Dolphins and Ravens are on a collision course to determine AFC supremacy.
To return to the Super Bowl for the first time in four decades, the Dolphins probably will either need to win in Baltimore on New Year’s Eve or win in Baltimore in the AFC Championship Game.
We like their odds.
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