AFC Playoff Picture: Dolphins earn their playoff spot with key win over DAL

The Miami Dolphins are playoff-bound after a last-second kick to beat the Cowboys.

Dallas Cowboys v Miami Dolphins
Dallas Cowboys v Miami Dolphins / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

If you had predicted that Joe Flacco would have been a quarterback of a likely playoff team at the start of the 2023 NFL season, you should buy a lottery ticket. In Week 16, Flacco led the team to yet another win, bringing his record up to 3-1 as the Cleveland starter this year.

It was not a slim-margin victory, either. Flacco put up 368 yards and three touchdowns. He did throw two interceptions, but bear in mind, he's 38, came into this offense midseason, and started just four games last year for the Jets. Plus, the team was without a kicker and had to play more aggressively than they otherwise might have liked.

With the win, Cleveland becomes a likely playoff team.

Meanwhile, the Miami Dolphins became a mathematically guaranteed playoff win with a convincing win over the Cowboys with a last-second field goal.

Here's how the playoff picture stands after Week 16 games.

AFC Playoff Picture after Week 16 games

Here are the teams that would be in the postseason if the season ended now, with playoff appearance likelihood in parentheses.

  1. Baltimore Ravens: 11-3
  2. Miami Dolphins: 11-4 (99+%)
  3. Kansas City Chiefs: 9-5 (99+% if win, 94% if loss)
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars: 8-7 (66%)
  5. Cleveland Browns: 10-5 (99+%)
  6. Buffalo Bills: 9-6 (82%)
  7. Indianapolis Colts: 8-7 (51%)

Bold indicates a team who has secured a playoff spot.

AFC Wild Card standings

  1. Cleveland Browns: 10-5 (99+%)
  2. Buffalo Bills: 9-6 (81%)
  3. Indianapolis Colts: 8-7 (50%)
  4. Houston Texans: 8-7 (37%)
  5. Cincinnati Bengals: 8-7 (18%)
  6. Pittsburgh Steelers: 8-7 (17%)
  7. Denver Broncos: 7-7 (36% if win, 4% if loss)
  8. Las Vegas Raiders: 6-8 (10% if win, <1% if loss)

With just a few games separating every game on the list, there's still plenty that could change here with two or three games remaining for each team.

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