The Miami Dolphins game against the Kansas City Chiefs should have been a primetime match-up during the regular season. Instead, it was an early morning game from Germany.
The Dolphins are heading to Arrowhead after all. For the 2nd time this season, the Miami Dolphins will play the Chiefs as a road team and for the first time since leaving K.C., Tyreek Hill will return to Kansas City.
So far this week the weather has been the main talking point. Fans have wondered if the game should be moved to a neutral site under a dome. In Buffalo where snow will add as much as 5-8" of snow, they too are talking about moving the game. It's too late for all that and all four teams will play in the elements.
For the Dolphins, bad weather could help them more than the Chiefs. Miami's two strongest areas on both sides of the line are running the ball and stopping the run. The Chiefs are not as good in either area.
Mike McDaniel needs a great game plan on Sunday. He needs to create by waving that magic wand everyone seems to think he has. If McDaniel is indeed the guru everyone thinks he is, then he needs to show up.
Miami's offense has been predictable. The quick toss from Tua to a running back in the opposite direction is being figured out. The Dolphins trying to get Tyreek into motion to create one-on-one coverage is being figured out. Miami's juggernaut offense hasn't been a juggernaut in a long while.
The last two games the Dolphins offense showed how good it could be was way back in Washington and two weeks after that against the Jets. Since then, Miami has posted no games with more than 30 points and their highest scoring total was 22 against the Cowboys.
Yes, Miami played some of the best defenses in the league over those weeks but if an offense is great they find a way. So far, Mike McDaniel hasn't found a way to get points on the board.
This week, he needs to figure it out. Whatever he has been saving, it's time to pull it all out and leave it on the icy field of Arrowhead.
Against the Chiefs, McDaniel has tape showing how they stopped him before. He knows what the Chiefs will bring to their defense and he has to design a way to make them change how they approach the game.
In the first game, the Chiefs dictated the game on defense. They forced Miami to change and adapt and when the Dolphins tried, they had an answer. This time, Mike McDaniel has to change and force the Chiefs to keep up. If he does that, the Dolphins win this game pretty easily. If he can't, their season is over.
It's hard to beat a team twice in one year which is why so sweeping a division opponent is so important. In this case, splitting with the Chiefs sends Miami to the next round of the playoffs. If the Dolphins' goal was to go deep in the postseason, it has to start this week. There are no easy games in the playoffs and the Dolphins can't make it easy for the Chiefs. If they really want to win, they will take the game and make it theirs.
The game will be on Peacock Saturday night. It will require a subscription to watch outside of Miami.