If the season ended today, the road to Super Bowl LVIII in the AFC would run through Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. After the events of Week 13, the Dolphins found themselves atop the conference with the No. 1 seed but, as head coach Mike McDaniel will tell you, that doesn't mean much.
"Call me when it's a 13-game season and I'll be excited to talk about the next game," McDaniel told reporters when asked about their current standing.
Of course, McDaniel is absolutely right to put zero stock in where his team stands in the first full week of December. A lot can change between Week 13 and Week 18, and it seems to be well aware of that, so it's best not to count his chickens before they hatch.
That said, the objective is a simple one for Miami. All the Dolphins need to do is sweep the final five games down the stretch and they'll be playing in the comforts of their home stadium throughout the playoffs, while also enjoying a first-round bye.
Miami currently owns the 12th-hardest remaining schedule in the league when looking at their opponents' combined win percentage. While they have the Titans and Jets at home over the next two weeks, they play host to the Cowboys in Week 16, travel to Baltimore for a battle against the Ravens, and then round out the year at home against the Bills. That final three-week run will be a gauntlet, but they could very well come out the other side of it with home-field advantage.
At that point, McDaniel will likely care a bit more about his team's standing.