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Have You Heard? It Was Cold In Kansas City

10:29 AM EST on January 14, 2024

Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs has a cracked helmet during Saturday's playoff game against the Dolphins.
David Eulitt/Getty Images

Whether it was the miserable conditions, poor playcalling, or both, Dolphins-Chiefs was a slog. The most notable parts of Kansas City's 26-7 win were that Taylor Swift was in attendance—at this point, she basically has a residency there—and that the weather was cold. So cold. Wow, was it cold!

The temperature at kickoff was minus-4 degrees Fahrenheit, making it the coldest game ever played at Kansas City's stadium. It seemed like a dumb idea to keep it scheduled at that time slot. But money is the main motivator of dumb ideas, so even though the tarp came off and revealed that the field had the same surface as a package of chicken thighs right out of the freezer, the game would go on. The grass was somewhat defrosted by kickoff, but who knows how much that helped. I was a thousand miles away, inside. Not my problem.

The exclusive Peacock broadcast, which was just the NBC broadcast with a different name and an entry fee, could not stop mentioning how cold it was. It was almost worth it to see Jac Collinsworth suffering out there in the elements. The theme of the night could be summarized with this unforgettable, decade-old thought from former Dallas Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin: "MAN WHEN WE PLAYED IN THAT COLD WEATHER WE WAS COLD."

The temperature might have been the main focus because the game itself was ass. Kansas City had a 16-7 lead at halftime and never seemed in danger of losing it. The Dolphins' sole highlight was when Tyreek Hill scored a 53-yard touchdown; he did basically nothing else for the rest of the game. Meanwhile Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City offense did their best to stay on the field, bleed clock, and string together points. In the third quarter, his helmet cracked. That was a bit concerning:

Usually an NFL player with an equipment change has to miss a play or have his team call a timeout. Because he's a star quarterback and gets preferential treatment, Mahomes pulled off the swap without doing either, which led to mild controversy. Even though it wouldn't have changed the final score, it would've been prudent to check on the franchise quarterback's brain.

Kansas City's victory was a useful way to move past any residual regular-season frustration, and a reminder that this team did win the Super Bowl last year and is still really good. As for the Dolphins ... woof. Safety Jevon Holland and linebacker Jerome Baker both missed the game with injuries, and those absences certainly didn't help the defense slow down Mahomes. The Fins spent the last two weeks choking away their division lead in the AFC East, had to play on the road in Kansas City as a result, and forced everybody to hear about how cold it was. Blame them for everything!

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