The weather could play a huge factor in this game, as the temperature should be around zero with high winds at kickoff. That could cause issues for a Chiefs receiving corps with difficulty catching in nice weather. The Dolphins have trouble beating good teams, and it doesn’t matter if it’s on the road or at home. The weather will make for a low-scoring game, but can Tua get it done in bad weather in a road playoff game?
The Kansas City Chiefs earned a bye through the wildcard round last season and will need to win one more game than last season if they want to repeat as Super Bowl champions. Kansas City showed their mettle late in the year by winning three out of their final four bouts against the Raiders, beating the Bengals 25-17 while resting players against the Chargers in a 13-12 road win.
Patrick Mahomes had an inconsistent season but still posted impressive numbers. The 28-year-old quarterback passed for over 300 passing yards four times this season and, for the season, threw for 4183 passing yards with a 27:13 TD-to-INT ratio; only once did he record under 200 passing yards against the Miami Dolphins in November.
Isiah Pacheco is having a fantastic season. At 24 years old, he’s managed to rush for at least 89 yards in three out of his last five games, including 130 yards against the Bengals! Pacheco now has 935 rushing yards on his account. Travis Kelce, on the other hand, has seen his standards limited recently. In three consecutive games since midseason, he posted less than 50 receiving yards; overall, 984 receiving yards have been registered by this 34-year-old who trails only Rashee Rice, who leads all receivers with 938 receiving yards on his account.
The Chiefs have had a consistent defense that has been particularly impressive during December, allowing 20 or fewer points in five straight games and totalling 353 total yards against the Chargers last week; CB L’Jarius Sneed remains questionable but the Chiefs pass defense ranks 4th while rush defence ranks 18th for Kansas City.
The Miami Dolphins appeared poised for an opening-round playoff bye but faltered late in the year, falling out of contention in their division and finishing as the #6 seed. Miami had an 8-3 mark but went just 2-3 over their final five games due to injuries; their 56-19 loss to Ravens on December 31st cost them the number one seed, while a 21-14 loss against Bills the AFC East and the number two seed.
Tua Tagovailoa was less reliable as the season progressed, throwing four interceptions over his last two games. Still, this season, he reached 300 passing yards five times and totalled 4624 passing yards with a 29:14 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
Raheem Mostert has missed two consecutive games with a knee injury, and Mike McDaniel remains hopeful he can return. Mostert, 31, has recorded less than 50 rushing yards in three of his last four games and 1012 on the year, earning 85 in the earlier loss against Kansas City. Tyreek Hill will face his former team again, leading all NFL receivers with 1799 receiving yards. While currently dealing with quad pain, he should still play; Jaylen Waddle should return as this Miami offense has slumped – scoring 22 or fewer points three consecutive times despite their best efforts.
Okay bad weather to me favors the Dolphins. The Chiefs have Pacecho, and he’s a stud, but Miami will get Mostert back, and they are deeper in the running back position. The Chiefs offense has struggled and I look for this to be a low-scoring game so I will take the +4.5. Pick: Dolphins +4.5
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