AFC's Final Wildcard Spot Decided

It wasn't exactly a triumph, but the Miami Dolphins are officially in the playoffs. Thanks to a 50-yard game-winning field goal by kicker Jason Sanders, the Dolphins topped the New York Jets 11-6 in Week 18 to earn the AFC's final wildcard spot. Entering today, the Dolphins needed to top the Jets and for the Buffalo Bills to defeat the New England Patriots. The Bills more than held up their end of the bargain, winning 35-23. The Dolphins had a significantly more stressful go of it.

With their top two quarterbacks out, the Dolphins needed rookie seventh-round pick Skylar Thompson to steal a win in only his second career start. Thompson didn't exactly have a great day, netting only 140 passing yards on 32 dropbacks, but the Dolphins run game delivered, totalling 162 yards on 32 attempts. Sanders nailed his winning kick with only 23 seconds left in regulation, the Dolphins defense delivered a safety on the Jets' final play, and the Dolphins sealed the 11-6 win.

Now, the Dolphins can look ahead to an AFC Wildcard showdown with the Buffalo Bills. They'll cross their fingers starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa can return from his second concussion of the season in time to play. Tagovailoa passed for 420 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions against the Bills this season in two closely contested games. The two teams split the series 1-1, with the Dolphins winning the Week 3 contest 21-19 and the Bills taking the Week 15 matchup 32-29.