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NFL Playoff picture and scenarios: Dolphins alive, Buccaneers eliminated

Though it's unlikely, the Miami Dolphins can still make the playoffs in 2012.

USA TODAY Sports

Though it's a longshot, the Miami Dolphins are still alive in the AFC playoff picture -- but they'll need lots of help if they're going to be playing football in January.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who were eliminated from playoff contention following their Week 15 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

At 6-8, Miami needs to win both of its final two games to even have a chance to qualify for the playoffs. The Dolphins will face off against the Buffalo Bills at home in Week 16, before traveling to Foxboro to take on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Week 17.

With both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals ahead of them, the Dolphins need the Bengals to lose both of their remaining games. Cincinnati takes on Pittsburgh in Week 16, so the Dolphins need the Steelers to win in Week 16. In Week 17, the Dolphins need both the Bengals and Steelers to lose -- coupled with Dolphins wins in Weeks 16 and 17 to make the playoffs.

It's unlikely, but it's possible.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.