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Playoffs? Playoffs? What History Tells Us About the Dolphins' Chances

While the Miami Dolphins' playoff hopes might not look realistic, there's historical precedent for teams overcoming a 1-5 start

We've all seen — most of us countless times — that famous clip of Jim Carrey from the movie "Dumb and Dumber" where he goes, "So you're telling me there's a chance?"

Yeah, that pretty much applies when it comes to the Miami Dolphins' playoff aspirations in light of their disastrous 1-5 start.

No, it really doesn't seem realistic to think they can turn things around and make a run at a playoff berth, especially considering that things just have gotten worse every week, not better.

But if they were to climb from this hole and indeed find a way to make the playoffs, they wouldn't be the first team to do it after a 1-5 start.

Yes, there is historical precedent.

It's happened four times actually since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, including just last season when the Washington Football Team took advantage of the putrid NFC East to rebound from 1-5 to win the division title with a 7-9 record.

Of course, the Dolphins won't have the benefit of that kind of division "competition" this year because the Buffalo Bills figure to finish with a pretty lofty record, but there are other precedents.

In 2018, the Indianapolis Colts went from 1-5 to 10-6 to earn a wild-card berth in the AFC playoffs and before that the 2015 Kansas City Chiefs won their final 10 games after starting 1-5 to also earn a wild-card berth.

Lastly, there's the 1970 Cincinnati Bengals, who actually started 1-6 before reeling off seven wins to end the season at 8-6 and win the AFC Central title.

Envisioning that kind of scenario for the Dolphins at the moment sounds like crazy talk, and the prediction website five thirty eight currently has Miami's chances at making the playoffs at 6 percent.

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If it's any consolation, it's the highest percentage for any of the six NFL teams that currently have fewer than two victories.

The 1-5 Giants and the 1-4 Jets are at 2 percent; the 1-5 Jaguars and the 1-4 Texans are at 1 percent; and the winless Detroit Lions have a less than 0.1 percent chance of making the playoffs, according to five thirty eight.

When looking strictly at the Dolphins for precedents, the 1-5 start doesn't bode well.

This is the ninth time the Dolphins have begun a season at 1-5 or worse through six games, with every instance happening before Don Shula arrived in 1970 or since 2003.

Discounting the bad starts of 1966, 1967 and 1969 because the Dolphins were an expansion franchise, we can tell you the Dolphins never finished with a record better than 6-10 with that kind of bad six-game start.

-- In 2019, they started 0-7 on their way to a 5-11 finish.

-- In 2011, they started 0-7 on their way to a 5-11 finish.

-- In 2007, they started 0-13 on their way to a 1-15 finish.

-- In 2006, they started 1-6 on their way to a 6-10 finish.

-- In 2004, they started 0-6 on their way to a 4-12 finish.

So, no, it doesn't look good for the Dolphins and nobody is suggesting a turnaround is coming, especially since this franchise hasn't ever really done it to this extent.

But it has been done around the NFL, so there's that.