DOLPHINS PLAY FIRST PLAYOFF GAME SINCE 2008
The Dolphins will return to the playoffs for the 23rd time in team history and play their first playoff game since 2008 when they visit the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, Jan. 8 at 1 p.m. on CBS. Miami is looking for its first playoff win since Dec. 30, 2000, when they defeated the Indianapolis Colts, 23-17 in overtime.
Miami has played Pittsburgh three times in the postseason and won two of those matchups. The last playoff meeting was on Jan. 6, 1985, when the Dolphins defeated the Steelers, 45-28, at the Orange Bowl to win the AFC Championship and advance to Super Bowl XIX.
Head Coach Adam Gase and the Miami Dolphins have played their best football this season late in games. After halftime, the Dolphins are outscoring their opponents 221-175. The 46-point margin is eighth-best in the NFL
THE DOLPHINS IN PAST 11 GAMES
Miami has now won nine of its past 11 games dating back to Week 6. The run is Miami’s best 11-game stretch since 2008, when the team also won nine of its nal 11 contests to win the AFC East. Miami’s 10-6 record in the 2016 season is the team’s best mark since 2008, when they nished 11-5.
STATISTICAL COMPARISON: WEEKS 1-5 VS. WEEKS 6-17
One of the reasons Miami has been so good since in its past 11 games is the improvement in several key statistical categories.
2017 MIAMI DOLPHINS OPPONENTS
The Miami Dolphins have opponents set for all 16 of their regular season games in the 2017 season
DOLPHINS VS. PLAYOFF TEAMS
Miami has played four games against teams in this year’s playoffs and have gone 1-3 in those four games. The Dolphins defeated Pittsburgh – their AFC Wild Card opponent – on Oct. 16 at Hard Rock Stadium. The 30-15 win over the Steelers propelled the Dolphins to nine wins in their final 11 games, their best 11-game stretch since 2008. Miami also fell to playoff teams in their first two games of the season – at Seattle (Sept. 11) and at New England (Sept. 18) – and in the season finale vs. New England (Jan. 1, 2017).
A DOLPHINS WIN WOULD:
- Be the team’s first playoff victory since Dec. 30, 2000 when they defeated the Indianapolis Colts in overtime, 23-17. RB Lamar Smith had the game-winning score, a 17-yard touchdown run.
- Send Miami to the AFC Divisional Round for the first time since the 2000 season when they fell at Oakland on Jan. 6, 2001 after defeating the Colts the previous week.
- Mark the third win in four playoff meetings against the Steelers. Miami also defeated Pittsburgh in two AFC Championship games on Dec. 31, 1972 and Jan. 6, 1985 to advance to the Super Bowl.
- Be the second time in team history that Miami has defeated Pittsburgh twice in the same season. The Dolphins also beat the Steelers twice in the 1984 season with a win in Week 6 at Pittsburgh and a victory in Miami to win the AFC Championship.
- Make Adam Gase just the second head coach in Dolphins history to win a playoff game in his first season as the team’s head coach. Dave Wannstedt won a playoff game in his first season in 2000.
- Be the first playoff victory by a first-time NFL head coach in his first season since San Diego’s Mike McCoy won an AFC Wild Card game on Jan. 5, 2014. N.Y. Giants head coach Ben McAdoo is also a first-time head coach in this year’s playoff field.
HOW THEY COMPARE
UP NEXT THE AFC DIVISIONAL ROUND
With a win over Pittsburgh on Sunday, the Dolphins will head to the AFC Divisional round to match up with the No. 1 seed New England Patriots on Saturday, Jan. 14 at 8:15 p.m. on CBS. The meeting would be the fourth playoff game between the two organizations.
Miami defeated New England in a first-round AFC Playoff game on Jan. 8, 1983, but the Dolphins have lost their last two playoff meetings with the Patriots on Jan. 12, 1986 and Dec. 28, 1997.
New England won both regular season meetings against Miami this year.