The Miami Dolphins will be trying to get closer to locking up a home playoff game in the AFC with another win on Monday night.
That possible future circumstance has one NFL coach reportedly concerned about the chances of the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs if they happen to be a postseason opponent of Miami.
“I’d be worried about them on the road against Miami,” a coach with AFC East experience told The Athletic. “You are going to Miami, and it is going to be hot as hell, as opposed to bringing Miami into Kansas City and it’s freezing? That is a big difference.”
Kansas City lost to the Buffalo Bills 20-17 on Sunday in a game marked by an offensive offsides penalty on Kadarius Toney that nullified his late go-ahead touchdown that was scored after a lateral from Travis Kelce.
Play was called back but can't believe Kelce tried this 😮
— NFL (@NFL) December 11, 2023
It was the Chiefs’ second loss in a row, third in their past four games and fourth in the past six. Kansas City now has an 8-5 record this season that has them sitting as the No. 3 seed in the AFC as of Monday morning.
On the other hand, the Dolphins take a three-game winning streak and 9-3 mark into their home game Monday night against the Tennessee Titans. Miami entered Week 14 holding the top seed in the AFC and would return there ahead of the 10-3 Baltimore Ravens with a victory.
Though there is a lot of football left to be played, the playoff scenarios become a bit more clear with every passing week. It is easy to see that if the Dolphins and Chiefs continue to play out on the paths they are headed, Miami will have a better seed than Kansas City and therefore host any possible playoff game between the two.
That is significant not only for the weather that may accompany a January meeting, but it is also worth noting that Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has never played an AFC playoff game on the road. He is 9-2 in 11 playoff games played at Arrowhead Stadium, which includes the past five AFC Championship games.
The Dolphins and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa have very little such recent history to draw on, with Miami having made the playoffs just once since the 2016 season. That game was last January, a 34-31 road loss at Buffalo that Tagovailoa missed due to injury.
In fact, Miami has not hosted an AFC playoff game since the 2008 NFL season.
Mahomes and the Chiefs have shown success in winning two of three Super Bowl appearances at neutral sites, including last season against the Philadelphia Eagles. It will be interesting to see how they fare if forced to face a hostile crowd and unfamiliar territory while attempting to get back there again.