The Miami Dolphins clinched their first playoff berth since 2008.
Miami will play at Houston Jan. 7-8 if they beat the New England Patriots in their final home game in Week 17 AND Kansas City loses at San Diego. Otherwise the Dolphins will play at the Pittsburgh Steelers that same weekend.
The Dolphins put themselves in this position with a down-to-the-wire win over the Buffalo Bills.
Jay Ajayi, in his third 200-yard performance of the season moreover second 200-yard rushing game versus the Buffalo Bills, carried the Dolphins to this win in overtime.
Ajayi broke loose for a 57-yard run in overtime to set up Andrew Franks’ 27-yard field goal with 47 seconds left in a 34-31 win over the Bills on Christmas Eve.
“It’s about running hard through the whole game and finishing strong,” Ajayi said. “Division rival game, December game, a lot was on the line. Tensions were high today.”
The Dolphins still have a Band-Aid on the quarterback position as QB Matt Moore finished 16 of 30 for 233 yards and two touchdowns and an interception. He was making his second consecutive start in place of Ryan Tannehill who is still nursing a sprained left knee.
The Bills were eliminated from playoff contention and extended the NFL’s longest active playoff drought to 17 seasons.
Buffalo’s drought is tied for the fifth longest in NFL history, and the longest since the New Orleans Saints went 20 years before qualifying for the playoffs for the first time in franchise history in 1987.
Tyrod Taylor went 23 of 39 for a career-high 329 yards passing and three touchdowns. He became Buffalo’s first player to top 300 yards since journeyman Kyle Orton had 329 yards in a 26-24 loss at Oakland nearly two years ago to the day. LeSean McCoy did his part for my fantasy football team with 128 yards rushing and one touchdown. The Bills moving forward may question their coaching and the quarterback position.
The beat goes on for both teams on New Year’s Day. As mentioned earlier, Miami closes the regular season hosting the New England Patriots while the Bills finish up at the New York Jets.