As it currently stands, the Dolphins at 8-5 are holding on to the 7th position which puts them one game out of the final wild card spot. The Broncos, also at 8-5, hold that 6th and final seed. To understand the tie-breaking procedures for the NFL you would almost need to be a mathematician.
In a nutshell, both the Broncos and the Dolphins have the same record, same conference record, so tie-breaking then goes to “like” games and point differentials, and strength of schedule, and well you get the idea.
So where does rooting for New England fall into play? Well just behind the Dolphins at 7-4 is the Baltimore Ravens and Miami doesn’t hold any head to head against the Ravens thanks to last weeks loss. So if the Ravens lose tonight they will stay one game back of Miami. It’s an incredibly thin race and every loss by teams not named the Dolphins will help.
Of course there is also the division. New England is enjoying a two game lead over the Dolphins and have four games to play including tonight. A loss by the Patriots keeps that two game lead. New England plays Denver next week and that potentially could be loss number four on the season if the Patriots lose tonight.
If that were to happen, the Dolphins and Patriots would be on a collision course for week 17 when the two teams play each other in Miami. Because both the Patriots and Dolphins would enter that weekend tied with the same divisional record, a Dolphins win would give Miami the division win.
O.k. so that is a lot of “what-if’s” and “aint gonna happens” but what is certain is that tonight, whether the Patriots win or the Patriots lose, the Dolphins could potentially benefit in their bid for a post-season birth.
Of course no real Dolphins fan can ever actually and openly root for the Patriots.