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CBS Miami's Steve Goldstein: Dolphins primed for playoff run

CBS News Miami Sports Live

MIAMI - Besides their great offensive season and a now roaring, improving defense, the stars are aligning for the Dolphins

Entering week 14 of the season, they are the number one seed in the AFC. At 9-3, Miami is tied with Baltimore but has the edge due to its conference record. 

The two teams play each other on New Year's Eve in Baltimore. The Dolphins' fate is in their hands to get the top seed in the playoffs, which comes with a first-round bye. While there's a long way to go, the Dolphins are in a great position.

A Little Help Helps
After the Dolphins pounded Washington by 30 points, one of the biggest point differential road wins in team history, they then got assistance. Sunday night, Green Bay knocked off Kansas City, and on Monday night, the Bengals beat Jacksonville in overtime. Entering this past week, all three teams were 8-3. Now, the Dolphins have a one-game lead on the Chiefs and the Jaguars.

Tyreek MVP
No wide receiver has ever won the award. Tyreek Hill's season is not a normal wide receiver season. He has the most yards after 12 games in the Super Bowl era. He is pacing to become the first 2,000-yard receiver in NFL history. On Sunday in Washington, Hill, for the second time this season, had 5 catches for at least 150 yards and a touchdown. He's the only receiver ever to do that twice in a year. The NFL MVP is a quarterback award, but Hill is my pick this season. He's the best player in football. Tua Tagovailoa is deservingly in the conversation as well.

Defense Dominates
Led by Jalen Ramsey's debut a month ago, the Dolphins defense has been shutting down opponents. Keeping teams in the teens in points for a month, Vic Fangio's unit is playing at a championship level. Even with injuries, the defense continues to shine. The final three games after the Titans and Jets matchups will be big tests, vs. Dallas, Baltimore, and Buffalo with three elite quarterbacks.

Fins Fans Takeover 
This season, Dolphins fans have turned out in droves on the road. The last two games against the Jets and in Washington looked and sounded like home games. Fans sense that something special is happening with this team.

Under the Lights 
Monday night will bring a wild atmosphere at Hard Rock Stadium, where the Dolphins are undefeated this season and win the games by an average of three touchdowns. They've also won 17 of the last 19 games at home, the vest run in the history of the stadium. Players and fan alike will be amped up for Monday night football against the Titans.  

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