With San Diego's upset of Denver on Thursday night, three-team ties for the final AFC playoff spot become more of a possibility. Breaking down the scenarios:
-- In two-team ties, the Dolphins, of course, would beat out San Diego but lose to Baltimore. Baltimore (7-6) has the toughest schedule: at Lions, Patriots, at Bengals. Miami (7-6) plays the Patriots, at the Bills and home to the Jets. The Chargers (7-7) play host to Oakland and Kansas City.
-- If the Dolphins and Ravens go 2-1 down the stretch and the Chargers go 2-0, then Miami would win a three-team tiebreaker only if one of Baltimore's losses is against New England or Cincinnati. That's because the Dolphins would finish with a superior conference record in that scenario.
If Baltimore wins both of its AFC games in that scenario but loses to Detroit, Baltimore would win the three-team tiebreaker because the Dolphins and Ravens would finish with the same conference record, better than San Diego's, and Baltimore beat Miami head to head.
-- If the Dolphins and Ravens go 1-2 and the Chargers go 1-1, then the Ravens' losses would need to come against the Patriots and Bengals for Miami to win the three-team tiebreaker. Miami would finish with the best conference record in that scenario. Otherwise, Baltimore would win the tiebreaker.
-- Though the Chargers' victory Thursday could ultimately help the Dolphins, the concern is that the Chargers would claim the final playoff spot if they win out AND if Miami and Baltimore both go 1-2.
-- Rookie cornerbacks Jamar Taylor and Will Davis have played just 45 and 13 defensive snaps, respectively, but at least one will be needed Sunday, and coach Joe Philbin said each has made "good progress." This is alarming: Cornerback Justin Rogers, signed to fill Dimitri Patterson's roster spot, allowed five touchdowns, a 142.3 passer rating and 24 completions for 462 yards (19.3 average) in five starts for Buffalo this year before being cut.
-- Asked why he's more secretive than most coaches, Philbin, smiling, on Friday cited "extreme paranoia" and said: "I don't want to give an opponent any information they're not entitled to."
-- Seeking a third baseman, the Marlins are intrigued by free agent Casey McGehee, 31, who played in Japan this year. He hit .217 with nine homers and 41 RBI for the Pirates and Yankees in 2012, but drove in 104 runs in 2010 and 67 in 2011. Wilson Betemit (.261, 12 homers in 2012; injured in 2013) also has been discussed.
-- The NCAA will allow UM to allocate its loss of nine scholarships any way it wants over the next three years (minimum one per year), and Al Golden said he has decided to take some each year. But even so, UM can accommodate all of its 27 oral commitments and even a few more because about 10 players are expected to enroll in January, and those will count toward the 2013 class.
-- Miami Chamber of Commerce president Barry Johnson, among local leaders who met with David Beckham's people, said PortMiami on Dodge Island was the only stadium site mentioned. He said the team wants to begin play at a tentative site in 2016 (a Beckham source said Marlins Park is the front-runner) and at a new stadium in 2018. Beckham wants to acquire a star player, too.
Is the PortMiami site viable? "We're doing our due diligence to see if there are any fatal flaws. We haven't found any yet," Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said. "Is it a viable site right now? Yes... . Is it the best site? We don't know yet."
Beckham's group would pay to build the stadium and pay rent, but the Miami-Dade County Commission needs to approve it. "I have concerns about that location because I don't want to cripple the viability of the port," commissioner Rebecca Sousa said. "I hope we can come up with alternatives."
Commissioner Bruno Barreiro said he "would have to study how it would affect traffic patterns."
Among nondowntown sites discussed by the Beckham camp: Wynwood, South Dade, within a few blocks of Marlins Park and north of Sun Life. But "they want to be downtown," Gimenez said. "And we believe an urban downtown site is the best place for it."
• In a CNN interview Friday, Charles Barkley said: "It'd be great for (LeBron James) to go back to Cleveland" next summer, when he can opt out of his deal. "I don't think they are great fans in Miami. Listen, those were the same fans who were leaving when they thought they had lost to the Spurs. So let's don't act like they're super fans. I thought they were great fans in Cleveland. I thought LeBron shoulda stayed in Cleveland. Just 'cause he got them rings now, he ain't no better."
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