Chiefs prevail over Dolphins in frigid playoff game


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The Kansas City Chiefs put the Miami Dolphins away on Saturday night to move into the divisional round of the NFL playoffs, 26-7.

Patrick Mahomes was again the key difference maker in the game and stepped up when the team needed him the most. The real highlight of the night came at the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth quarter.

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Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Rashee Rice (4) is congratulated by wide receiver Justin Watson, left, and quarterback Patrick Mahomes after scoring against the Miami Dolphins during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo.  (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Isiah Pacheco runs

Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco (10) runs in front of Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Zach Sieler (92) during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

He converted on 3rd down twice and drew a roughing the passer call on Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins to extend the series. After the penalty, the Chiefs only needed four plays to get into the end zone. Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco capped it off with a touchdown on a direct snap.

The drive underscored just how surgical the Chiefs needed to be in -8 degrees. Four of the five Chiefs scoring drives occurred when the team ran at least nine plays. They scored right before halftime on a 32-yard field goal from Harrison Butker. It took them seven plays to score.

Mahomes was 23-of-41 with 262 passing yards and an early touchdown pass to Rashee Rice. He had a couple of decent runs during the game, one of which left him with a cracked helmet. Regardless, he tallied 41 rushing yards on eight carries.

Patrick Mahomes' cracked helmet

Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs heads to the sideline after his helmet was cracked during the third quarter in the AFC Wild Card Playoffs against the Miami Dolphins at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on January 13, 2024 in Kansas City, Missouri. (David Eulitt/Getty Images)

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Pacheco led the team in rushing with 88 yards on 24 carries. Rice had eight catches for 130 yards.

Travis Kelce, who had Taylor Swift up in the booth to watch him, finished with seven catches for 71 yards. It was the most receptions he’s had in a single game since he had seven against the Philadelphia Eagles back in November.

Tua Tagovailoa got the Dolphins on the board in the second quarter. He threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Tyreek Hill. But that was the most offense they’ve got in the game.

Tua Tagovailoa throws

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) passes 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.  (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

Tagovailoa had 199 passing yards. Hill finished with five catches for 62 yards.

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The Chiefs are again in the divisional round. It’s unclear who the team will play but they hadn’t lost in the divisional round in the Mahomes era. The team has made five straight AFC Championship Games.

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