As the Kansas City Chiefs prepare for their Wild Card matchup against the Miami Dolphins on Saturday evening — a game that will be played under frigid conditions on GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium — two of their wide receivers spoke about trying to repeat what they did when the Chiefs were just the designated home team in Week 9’s International Series game in Frankfurt, Germany.
In that game, the Kansas City defense shut out the league’s No. 1 offense all the way through the first half — even contributing a return touchdown of its own — while the offense scored a pair of touchdowns that gave the team a 21-0 halftime lead. While the team ended up winning 21-14,
“That’s a great defense,” said Chiefs’ wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling. “We were on the road — obviously, we’re the home team on the road in Germany — getting out to a fast start against a good team. [If you] get the ball first, you want to go down and score. And so, being able to do that at home would be pivotal.”
But even if the other team gets the ball first, it’s still possible to grab that early momentum.
“That’s the mindset behind getting the ball first — or getting the stop and making it to where we get the ball first and score some points,” added Valdes-Scantling. “It’s huge. You know how this momentum thing goes. You get five or six possessions in the game. So everyone matters. If you can get some points out of every single one of them, it’s a good day.”
According to veteran wideout Justin Watson, that’s been the offense’s goal all along.
“At the end of the day, it’s all about us, “ he noted. “[In Germany,] we went down and executed those first couple of drives and put touchdowns up — and then stopped executing as much in the second half. So I think [it’s] like same message it’s been all year: we execute, stay out of third-and-longs and we’ll be OK.”
And stay warm.
“I got a pretty good resume of dealing with the cold — being in Green Bay for four years,” explained Valdes-Scantling, “so I kind of pass my knowledge of what I had to deal with when I was playing in Green Bay to keep some of the guys warm.
“I tell them, ‘Hey, this is what you gotta do with your hands. This is what you wear.’ It’s gonna be a cold window, for sure. And hopefully, that’s an advantage to us — because I think it’s like 80 degrees in Miami right now.”
“I wouldn’t say anything changes too much. You know, good teams build habits all throughout the year. So that’s what we’ve been trying to do: just build playoff habits. Just keep doing what we’ve been doing.”
Watson isn’t worried about it — at least not for himself.
“Just bring the hand warmer out, and I’ll be all right,” he said. “They keep us so warm on the sidelines, we’ll be OK. [But] I feel bad for the fans. Hopefully, they can still get loud for us.”
If the Chiefs can jump out to a two or three-score lead in the first half, it’s a pretty safe bet that fans won’t even notice the cold.