Dolphins (4-5): Miami gets mentioned solely because of its record in what’s shaping up to be a soft AFC wild-card bubble.
The Dolphins have lost three straight, two of them on the road by a combined score of 85-21. Miami also has the following teams remaining on its schedule: Patriots (twice), Bills (twice) and Chiefs. The outlook is bleak.
Raiders (4-5): Oakland also has a difficult slate remaining, starting with Sunday’s game against the Patriots in Mexico City and continuing with the Chiefs, Cowboys and Eagles down the line.
Ravens (4-5): Baltimore has lost 3 of 4, but the Ravens’ late bye week will have them rested up for a schedule that isn’t exactly taxing: Packers sans Aaron Rodgers, Texans, Lions, Steelers, Browns, Colts, Bengals.
Remember how Roethlisberger was carted off in the wild 2016 first-round game against Cincinnati with a shoulder injury and returned to lead the team to a victory, helped mightily by the Bengals’ discombobulation? Roethlisberger couldn’t even throw the ball down the field but managed to Willis Reed the Steelers to a win. This year, he’s healthy and has dangerous weapons.
His replacement, Tom Savage, has completed 82 of 149 passes (55 percent) for 869 yards, one touchdown and one interception for a 71.7 passer rating during his career. Any playoff hopes the Texans had went out the window as soon as Watson was ruled out for the remainder of the season.
Miami was the second-worst rushing team in the league before trading away Jay Ajayi to the Eagles. More indicative of its lackluster playoff chances: Miami’s gamble on Jay Cutler hasn’t worked out. His passer rating in a clean pocket is average (98.2) and becomes worse than average under pressure (63.6). He is ranked 26th out of 33 passers per ESPN’s QBR rating, which does not build confidence the Dolphins can outperform their projected win total of 7.2.
I can’t take it anymore. I don’t really know. I can’t pinpoint why right now. Part of it is the handling of the [Kirk] Cousins situation. I mean, I think he’s good enough to keep around, when you look around the league and see what you could have otherwise. I think he’s way, way, way better than many other options. And it just seems like if we’re not going to [keep him], then what’s this all about?