With the 2012-2013 NFL season just into Week Nine, it may seem too soon to talk about the playoffs.
But Miami Dolphin fans, both in South Beach and the Cayman Islands, would be quick to point out that if the season were to end now, their team would have a postseason berth.
At 4-3, Miami would be a wildcard team alongside the surprising 4-3 Indianapolis Colts. Both do battle this Sunday, 4 November, at 1pm on CBS (note that with daylight savings time coming to an end on Sunday, all game times going forward will align with their US listings).
The Dolphins have had few bright spots statistically but the numbers went out the window in their thrashing of the New York Jets last Sunday. The defence featured a dominant pass rush, Matt Moore showed he still has talent at quarterback and Reggie Bush remains the focal point of the offence.
Indianapolis have rallied around coach Chuck Pagano, suffering from leukaemia, to exceed expectations. Rookie hurler Andrew Luck has teamed up well enough with veteran Reggie Wayne to put the Colts eighth in offence and ninth in passing.
It’s a tough game to call but Miami will get the benefit of doubt by 10 points with Bush rattling off over 100 all-purpose yards.
Sunday offers two notable games as the 5-3 Minnesota Vikings battle the 4-4 Seattle Seahawks at 4.05pm on FOX and the 6-2 New York Giants face the 4-3 Pittsburgh Steelers at 4.25pm on CBS.
Adrian Peterson’s Vikings have been surprising, but the Seahawks defence should rise to the challenge en route to a 14-point win. Based on last Sunday’s games, Ben Roethlisberger’s Steelers are in better form and should edge Eli Manning’s Giants by three points.
For the record, the 3-4 San Diego Chargers face the 1-6 Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday, 1 November, at 7.20pm on NFL Network. If Philip Rivers’ Chargers don’t win by 21 points, it would be a shock.