Miami Dolphins' injuries piling up, clearing way for other AFC contenders

Can the Miami Dolphins come out of this alive?
Tennessee Titans v Miami Dolphins
Tennessee Titans v Miami Dolphins / Rich Storry/GettyImages

The Miami Dolphins are beginning to breakdown with the amount of injuries they have sustained in recent weeks, which opens the door up for other AFC teams to jump them in the standings. Just take a look at the team's injury report from Thursday:

Some of their key players like Tyreek Hill, De'Von Achane, Robert Hunt, and others either did not practice or were limited. This is also in addition to them losing both stud center Connor Williams and stud pass rusher Jaelan Phillips for the year in recent weeks. Right now, Miami looks very vulnerable and don't seem to be trending in the right direct.

Also, their remaining schedule is brutal. They still have to face the Jets, Cowboys, Ravens, and Bills to end the 2023 NFL Season. Three of those games are at home, but it's hard for me personally to envison them winning more than one of those games in their current state. A bad loss to the weak Tennessee Titans in Week 14 has them sitting at 9-4 and falling down in the AFC playoff picture.

This opens the door up for other AFC contenders to leap them in the standings. The Baltimore Ravens now appear to have a stranglehold on the one seed in the AFC, and there's even been talk of the Buffalo Bills catching up to them in the AFC East standings.

Teams who sit behind the Dolphins by one game are the three-seeded Chiefs and the four-seeded Jaguars. Both KC and Jacksonville are dealing with their own problems, but Miami's seem to be pretty brutal. This happened last year, too. Miami began the year 8-3 and proceeded to finish 9-8 on the season, a horrid meltdown when it mattered most.

Right now at 9-4, the Dolphins feel like a team that could end the year on the wrong note and limp into the playoffs. Head coach Mike McDaniel is going to have to rally the troops, if you will, if the Miami Dolphins want to close out the regular season with a playoff berth and a division title.