Chiefs shut down Dolphins in frigid AFC wild-card game

Rashee Rice caught eight passes for 130 yards and a touchdown, Harrison Butker kicked four field goals and the host Kansas City Chiefs overcame frigid conditions to post a 26-7 victory over the Miami Dolphins in an AFC wild-card game on Saturday night.

Patrick Mahomes threw for 262 yards and a touchdown and Isiah Pacheco rushed for 89 yards and a score to pace the third-seeded Chiefs in the frosty weather. At kickoff, the temperature was minus-4 (felt like minus-27), making it the fourth-coldest game in NFL history.

“The mindset was we knew it was going to be cold but let’s go out there with that fire and see what happens,” Mahomes said.

Former Chiefs star Tyreek Hill caught a 53-yard touchdown pass for sixth-seeded Miami. It was the first time Hill (five catches, 62 yards) played in Kansas City since being traded away following the 2021 season.

Mahomes completed 23 of 41 passes for Kansas City, which has recorded a playoff victory for the sixth straight season. Rice set a franchise postseason record with his 130 receiving yards, surpassing Elmo Wright (104 against Miami on Dec. 25, 1971).

Tua Tagovailoa was 20-of-39 passing for 199 yards with one touchdown and one interception for the Dolphins. Miami has lost six straight playoff games since a wild-card victory over the Indianapolis Colts in 2000.

Raheem Mostert and Jaylen Waddle returned from two-game absences due to injuries but weren’t particularly effective. Mostert rushed for 33 yards on eight carries and caught one pass for minus-3 yards, while Waddle had two receptions for 31 yards.

“Losing is never fun. It’s a team sport,” Tagovailoa said. “We didn’t come together the way we wanted to tonight. We had delay of games. We had communication errors.”

The temperature had dipped to minus-9 past the midway point of the fourth quarter with Miami facing a 19-point hole.

Butker’s second field goal of the game, a 26-yarder, gave Kansas City a 13-7 lead with 7:36 left in the first half.

He added a 32-yarder with 18 seconds to go in the first half and tacked on a 21-yarder to make it 19-7 with 7:49 remaining in the third quarter.

Pacheco delivered a pivotal blow when he took a direct snap and scored from the 3 to boost the lead to 19 with 11:06 left in the game.

Kansas City began the game with the ball and it took just nine plays for the Chiefs to travel 69 yards. Mahomes capped the drive with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Rice.

Butker kicked a 28-yard field goal to make it 10-0 nine seconds into the second quarter. Miami answered when Tagovailoa found Hill for a 53-yard touchdown play with 14:01 left in the half.