The Miami Dolphins needed to win in Week 17 and receive some help to make their way into the postseason. They received all the help necessary, but couldn't defeat the New York Jets, and instead watched their season come to an end on Sunday.
For Kevin Nogle of SB Nation's Dolphins blog, The Phinsider, it was a frustrating finish to a year that looked very promising for the Dolphins before back-to-back losses ended their season.
To be fair, this Dolphins team was not supposed to be a Super Bowl contender. They were simply supposed to be in playoff contention late into the season, hoping to sneak into the tournament, and that's exactly what they were this year. In Week 17, the Dolphins had a chance to go into January still playing football.
But, it feels so much worse. This team should have been in the playoffs, not just in contention.
The Jets didn't have the chance to go to the playoffs like the Dolphins did, but the Week 17 win provided the team with some optimism for the future. Particularly positive was the efficient performance by rookie quarterback Geno Smith, who finished 17-of-27 passing with 190 yards and 44 yards rushing.
John Butchko of SB Nation's Jets blog, Gang Green Nation, was complimentary of the performance, although he doesn't think Smith is necessarily going to be handed the starting job long-term:
Geno probably has not done enough to be handed the keys to the starting job in 2014 with no competition, but he at least has been able to gain some confidence with good play heading into the offseason.
Both the Jets and the Dolphins finished the 2013 season with 8-8 records.