IN CONTROL AGAIN

It's almost amazing to fathom considering the Dolphins' three-game losing streak, but they're right back where they were after the big victory at Denver — holding the top spot when it comes to the AFC playoff race.

Indeed, if the playoffs were to begin today, the Dolphins would be the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

They are tied with four other teams for the best record in the conference at 7-4, but hold tiebreaker advantages because of previous victories over the Colts, Broncos and Chargers.

Here's how it breaks down.

The Dolphins, Colts, Broncos, Chargers and Raiders are all 7-4. Miami and Indianapolis obviously would win their division because they have the best record. In the AFC West, Denver would win the division if the season ended today because they beat San Diego head-to-head.

Pittsburgh would win the AFC North, but they have a 6-4-1 mark and would stand as the No. 4 seed.

The Dolphins beat both the Broncos and Colts, giving them the No. 1 seed.

The Dolphins also face the Oakland Raiders on Dec. 15, and a victory there would almost guarantee they would hold any tiebreaker edge for playoff seeding purposes.

Of course, no one expects any team to go 5-0 the rest of the way, but at least the Dolphins can feel comfortable in the knowledge that they don't have to depend on any other team.

But as Coach Dave Wannstedt warned on Monday, things can changed very rapidly not only in the conference race, but in the division battle as well.

That's why Sunday's game at Buffalo is so important, and for bigger reasons than the fact the Bills own at Miami earlier this season.

"I don't know if revenge is the word," Wannstedt said. "It's a division game. The way this is shaping up, you can go from first place to last place in a week."


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