Week 13 could be a make-or-break week for several teams that are lobbying for the AFC‘s sixth playoff seed. The 5-6 Miami Dolphins are certainly not excluded with a trip to the Meadowlands to take on the 5-6 New York Jets on the slate.
Miami no longer controls its own destiny to qualify for the postseason, so Dolphins fans will undoubtedly have their eyes on several other key AFC games during the Thanksgiving weekend. Here are the games to monitor in Week 13:
The Raiders sit only one game back in the fight for the AFC’s second Wild Card spot, but are one of the least talented teams in the race and will face a brutal schedule in December. Still, if Dolphins fans are seeking a rooting interest as they celebrate a Thanksgiving tradition with family, food and football, they should side with the Cowboys.
Root for: Dallas
The winner of this Thanksgiving showdown will undoubtedly emerge as the favorite to claim the conference’s final playoff spot. It’s fairly obvious who Dolphins fans should root for. Miami has already lost to Baltimore, thus surrendering the head-to-head tiebreaker, and will get the opportunity to best Pittsburgh in Week 14.
Root for: Pittsburgh
The Dolphins beat the Browns in Week 1, but with one of the league’s top defenses, Cleveland is more than capable of getting on roll down the stretch. Jacksonville has won two of their last three games as they look to play the role of spoilers in December.
Root for: Jacksonville
Tennessee currently holds the tiebreaker over the AFC’s five other 5-6 teams and would make the playoffs if they began today. Dolphins fans should hope the Colts snap out of their current funk in order to top the Titans at home.
Root for: Indianapolis
The Bills are quietly hanging around in the playoff race, which is more of a testament to the AFC’s mediocrity than anything they have accomplished. Still, the sooner Buffalo fades away the better for the Dolphins’ sake.
Root for: Atlanta
Miami owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over San Diego, but Philip Rivers is one of the top quarterbacks in football and is more than capable of getting hot late in the season. The Dolphins will likely need the Chargers to lose at least one more game.
Root for: Cincinnati
Cody Strahm is a Miami Dolphins contributor for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @CodyJStrahm.