The Kansas City Chiefs will play at home against the Miami Dolphins on Saturday night in what are likely to be “dangerously cold temperatures,” but your sympathies should probably be directed toward the visiting team.
A wind-chill warning will be in effect across the region from Friday night through Tuesday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. The wind chill will be 15 to 35 degrees below zero on Saturday, Sunday and Monday evenings, the service predicted, and temperatures will be “well below zero.”
The Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has typically played well in bad weather, and the Dolphins have been practicing most of the week in South Florida, though Kansas City coach Andy Reid told reporters earlier this week: “You can’t bank on that. That’s where you get into trouble. We’re not having a snowball fight.”
The highest temperature in Kansas City on Saturday afternoon will be 5 degrees, according to the forecast, though that could change before kickoff at 8 p.m. Eastern time. At least the Dolphins hope so.
The cold temperatures come as teams begin competing in the wild-card round of the NF.L. playoffs. The Buffalo Bills will play at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday afternoon amid a winter storm watch that is predicting snow and high winds, which are expected to start Saturday afternoon and continue through Monday morning.
But football fans shouldn’t worry too much. They know, especially in Buffalo, that games continue under almost any weather conditions.
In 2022, the Bills clinched a playoff berth against the Dolphins in a snowstorm on a 27-degree day while shirtless Buffalo fans waged snowball fights. A month earlier, however, the Bills had been forced to move a home game against the Cleveland Browns to Ford Field in Detroit because their stadium was snowed under.
It remains to be seen whether conditions for the wild-card games on Saturday and Sunday will surpass some of the harshest ever faced: the 1948 championship game in Philadelphia when there was so much snow that yard markers were hard to make out. For trivia fans: The Eagles beat the Chicago Cardinals, 7-0, in that game to win their first championship.
In 1970, during the N.F.L. championship game in Minnesota, Walter Johnson, the Browns defensive tackle, lost feeling in one hand as he played in 8-degree weather. Players have a number of ways to combat the cold, including hand muffs with warmers and heated insoles.