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Miami Dolphins lose to Kansas City Chiefs 26-7 in one of coldest NFL games ever played

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  -- The temperature at Arrowhead Stadium was below freezing -- way below freezing at minus-4 degrees Fahrenheit when the Miami Dolphins took the field Saturday night to face the Kansas City Chiefs. 

The cold and the Dolphins' own missteps on the field doomed Miami's effort as they lost 26-7 during what will go down in history as one of the coldest NFL games every played.

The loss by Miami extends their streak to 24 years of being unable to score a win during the playoffs.

Kansas City Chiefs put Dolphins on ice

Patrick Mahomes threw for 262 yards and a touchdown, had his helmet shattered when he took a hit in the second half, but still managed to help his Chiefs rout the Dolphins in the fourth-coldest game in NFL history.

The reigning league MVP found Rashee Rice eight times for 130 yards and a touchdown in the wild-card playoff game, and Isiah Pacheco added 89 yards rushing and another score, sending the Chiefs (12-6) past the Dolphins for the first time in four postseason meetings.

Dolphins Chiefs Football
Miami Dolphins running back Raheem Mostert (31) runs against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. Ed Zurga / AP

Harrison Butker added four field goals for the defending Super Bowl champs.

The injury-depleted Dolphins (11-7) looked nothing like the dynamic offense that led the league in yards during the regular season.

Tua Tagovailoa was pressured relentlessly by the NFL's second-ranked defense, wide receiver Tyreek Hill had a 53-yard TD catch but was otherwise shut down in his return to Kansas City, and the Dolphins finished with just 264 yards in all.

They have not won at Arrowhead Stadium since Nov. 6, 2011, nor won a playoff game since Dec. 30, 2000.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs won their 15th consecutive home playoff game - not counting a trio of Super Bowls. But they will head to Buffalo next week if the Bills beat the Steelers on Monday in a game pushed back a day by a blizzard. Otherwise, the Chiefs will host Houston, which beat the Browns earlier Saturday.

Weather is the big story during Dolphins-Chiefs game

It was minus-4 degrees Fahrenheit (minus-20 Celsius) at kickoff, easily setting a record for the coldest game at Arrowhead Stadium. 

But it was wind gusts, whipping through at more than 25 mph and driving the wind chill to a bone-rattling minus-27 degrees, that made the weather truly miserable for just about everyone.

That included pop star Taylor Swift, who once again turned up to see her boyfriend, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.

She at least got to watch from an enclosed suite. Most fans huddled outside in parkas, ski goggles and snow pants, and players huddled around heaters on the sidelines as if they were an oasis in the cold. The National Weather Service issued a warning for what it called "dangerously cold" weather that had blanketed the Midwest.

In fact, the cold may have made Mahomes' helmet brittle enough that a hit in the third quarter knocked a chunk of the plastic shell from it. Once officials saw the fist-sized hole, they made Mahomes get a backup helmet from the bench.

The weather didn't seem to bother Hill, who was playing in Kansas City for the first time since his old team traded him to Miami two years ago. The league's leading receiver warmed up in a short-sleeved shirt, then proceeded to scorch the stout Chiefs defense and All-Pro cornerback Trent McDuffie for a his long touchdown reception midway through the first half.

But the Dolphins' offense otherwise struggled, just as it did in a 21-14 loss to the Chiefs in their November game in Germany.

Kansas City was far more efficient, scoring on four of its six first-half drives. Mahomes capped the first with a TD toss to Rice, and while ensuing drives kept fizzling in the red zone, Butker added a trio of field goals as Kansas City took a 16-3 lead into the break.

The Chiefs added another field goal in the third quarter, but it was still a two-possession game early in the fourth when the Dolphins appeared to force another field goal. But a late flag on Christian Wilkins for roughing the passer on third down gave Kansas City a fresh set of downs, and Pacheco plowed into the end zone moments later to give the Chiefs a 26-7 lead.

The Dolphins finally put together a sustained drive afterward, but by that point it was much too late. And when they failed to convert on fourth down, they were headed to their 11th straight loss when the game-time temp is 40 degrees or less.

Far less, in this case.


Miami: S Jevon Holland (knee) and CB Xavien Howard (foot) were inactive. CB DeShon Elliott (calf) left in the fourth quarter.

Kansas City: WR Kadarius Toney (hip) was inactive. DT Derrick Nnadi (elbow) left in the second quarter.

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