NBC said the game, which was streamed exclusively on Peacock, drew an average of about 23 million viewers Saturday night. It reached about 27.6 million viewers in total and peaked at more than 24.6 million in the second quarter. Saturday was also Peacock’s largest day in the service’s history. It set a record with 16.3 million concurrent devices streaming.
NBC has started broadcasting select games only on Peacock this season, though Saturday’s game in Kansas City was the first playoff game that was exclusively on a streaming service — which is probably a big part of why the game set a record. Fans located in Kansas City and Miami could watch the game on local NBC television stations.
The Houston Texans’ win over the Cleveland Browns actually had better numbers than the Chiefs-Dolphins game on NBC. The first wild-card game of the weekend averaged 29 million viewers on the network, which made it the most watched Saturday wild-card game on NBC since 2014.
Patrick Mahomes beats blitz, dices up Dolphins defense. With a depleted defense (Miami entered the game without multiple starters), Dolphins defensive coordinator Vic Fangio dared to bring heavy pressure on Mahomes. The magician made him pay time and time again. Mahomes went 10 of 21 for 123 yards against the blitz (13 of 20 for 139 yards, 1 TD sans blitz). Mahomes is historically good against extra rushes in his career and showed why on Saturday night, finding outlets and dropping perfect passes on time with a defender in his face. After a season of struggles on offense, the Chiefs found some life, racking up 409 yards and 25 first downs while moving the ball at will. K.C. generated five scoring drives of nine-plus plays, keeping the Dolphins offense on the sideline. Isiah Pacheco was sensational, bulldozing his way for 89 yards on 24 carries with a game-sealing TD. Mahomes found Rashee Rice (8/130/1) and Travis Kelce (7/71) for chunk gains. The red zone struggles continued, where K.C. went 2-of-6 leading to four FGs from Harrison Butker , but it was a good day for an offense that hadn’t clicked for weeks.
Jayson Olguin, a 10-year-old heart transplant recipient, attended the Chiefs Wild Card matchup against the Dolphins on Saturday.
He had his wish granted by Make-A-Wish, The Chiefs and the Raphael Hotel.
Olguin, originally from south Florida, traveled to Kansas City to see his favorite team.
Even though he’s from Dolphins territory, he said he started following the Chiefs because of the clips he saw of the players on social media.
He’s a football genius as well. He took the time in the hospital to memorize all 32 NFL rosters, nearly 1,700 players, that he can name off hand.
Olguin’s said his day started with “A stadium tour and we saw their Lombardi trophies. We went into the locker room and I got to sit in Patrick Mahomes locker.”
Favre, of course, doesn’t think it’s right ... but he says, like it or not, it’ll come if Travis Kelce and Kansas City aren’t able to compete for the Lombardi Trophy next month.
“If they don’t win it,” Favre said, “or get to the Super Bowl, people are going to say, ‘That’s why.’”
Swift, needless to say, is used to it by now ... after all, people have deemed her a K.C. curse for weeks — as her new boyfriend and the Chiefs only won five of their last 10 regular season games.
But, good news for her and the rest of Chiefs Kingdom ... Favre tells us he believes Kansas City — despite being the No. 3 seed — should still be considered the favorite to come out of the AFC’s side of the bracket.
“Until Andy Reid is unseated as the champion,” Favre said, “I have to see it to believe it.”
DOLPHINS HEAD MIKE MCDANIEL ON WHETHER THE WEATHER WAS A FACTOR
““I’ve experienced games of this nature. Very specifically, playoff games as well. It’s going to be a factor for both teams. It takes a certain mentality to compete in games like this. I think the team was very competitive for a majority of the game. I thought they had the prerequisite physicality, they didn’t turn it down. Guys were excited. You kind of have to go to a different place to be in that weather in a contact sport. I thought our guys were in a good spot. It affects the game, but it affects both teams. They were just a little better at executing what they wanted to do than we were.””
DOLPHINS WR TYREEK HILL ON THE MOOD IN THE LOCKER ROOM
““It’s tough. Especially with the type of team that we got. Obviously, there are high expectations of everyone. We hold ourselves to a standard. We were definitely expecting us to be a really good team this year. We definitely weren’t expecting a first-round exit. Also, the message in the locker room was simple. Whenever you’re working out, take this loss with you. Remember this feeling. Because it’s not fun being on the other side of a loss, especially when you know the season is over for you. No more football checks.””
Possible divisional round matchups: If the Steelers beat the Bills on Monday, Kansas City will host Houston on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET on ESPN/ABC. If the Bills handle the Steelers, Kansas City will play at Buffalo on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET (CBS).
Reason for divisional round optimism: With tight end Travis Kelce showing signs of decline, the Chiefs badly needed another target for quarterback Patrick Mahomes to step up. And wideout Rashee Rice produced 2.6 yards per route run in the regular season, with his role increasing as his rookie year went on. Then came Saturday, when Rice collected 130 yards on eight receptions against the Dolphins. Kansas City has found its second playmaker for Mahomes, perhaps just in time. — Walder
In one corner of the Kansas City Chiefs’ locker room was L’Jarius Sneed, the team’s most experienced cornerback. Sneed, a four-year veteran, is known more for his trash-talking skills on the field than after a game. Late Saturday night, though, Sneed and the rest of the Chiefs, every member having just finished playing in one of the most unusual games of their career, wanted to make a loud statement about their opponent in the wild-card round of NFL playoffs.
“We knew it was going to be a cold game and we knew they weren’t used to it,” Sneed said of the Miami Dolphins. “We came out and punched them in the mouth. We saw blood.”
In the opposite corner of the Chiefs’ locker room was left tackle Donovan Smith, a member of the offensive line, a group that spent much of the game stonewalling the Dolphins’ pass rushers. As the game progressed, and the Chiefs continued to build their lead, Smith made what he felt was an astute observation of the Dolphins.
“Obviously, you could feel and see that they felt it over there,” he said, smiling. “That’s why you play the game. You break their will.”
Around the NFL
Overreaction or Reality: Reality
Here’s where the issue lies. Would Jones give Belichick the power to run the football team that way he sees fit? Would Jones stay out of Belichick’s way when asked to? Jones is the president and general manager of the Cowboys for a reason, but Dallas is just 5-13 in the playoffs since winning their last Super Bowl in the 1995 season.
Jones has landed Bill Parcells and Mike McCarthy, two Super Bowl-winning coaches, in the years since his last Super Bowl title. Hiring Belichick would be a gamble, since Belichick is 84-103 without Tom Brady at quarterback. Of course, Dak Prescott is the best quarterback Belichick would have not named Tom Brady (assuming Cowboys keep him).
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul says the playoff game between the Steelers and Bills ”will not be pushed back again,” despite an ongoing travel ban in the area around Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York.
The wild-card game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. ET Monday after originally being planned for 1 p.m. Sunday. The decision to push back the game was announced early Saturday afternoon.
Hochul was speaking in a news conference Sunday afternoon with other government officials amid the lake-effect snowstorm in the Buffalo area. Snow continued to fall Sunday in some areas at a rate of 3 to 6 inches an hour, in addition to wind speeds up to 50 mph, according to Hochul.
One of the greatest plays in sports isn’t taking place on any athletic field.
Walt Disney Co. and the National Football League are said to be in earnest talks, according to two people familiar with the matter, that could have the league take a stake in ESPN while putting its NFL Media unit, which the sports body has been trying to monetize in better fashion, under the media company’s control. Such a move would further align Disney with the NFL, making it difficult for the company to lose valuable sports rights to show top-rated football games, and could put such NFL assets as the NFL Network and RedZone under Disney’s aegis.
Disney and the NFL declined to comment on the talks, which were reported previously by The New York Post and The Atlantic. Disney has been seeking partners for ESPN as it faces declines in one of its primary economic engines — affiliate revenue from cable distribution. Among the parties the media giant has turned to are sports leagues, which have a vested interest in ESPN’s success, as it broadcasts top games from multiple bodies.
Such a transaction is not guaranteed to reach fruition, and one of the people familiar with the talks suggested it would have to be approved by the NFL owners at a regularly scheduled meeting slated to take place in mid Spring.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
For quarterback Patrick Mahomes, it was a case of mind over matter.
“I’m not going to lie, it was cold,” he admitted. “But I think at the end of the day, you’ve got to just be mentally tough enough to just say, ‘That that’s not going to affect how we play. That’s not going to affect my effort. If something doesn’t work, I’m going to come back next time and keep firing.’
“It wasn’t like we were going to just run the football. We ran the football well — but at the same time, you’ve got to throw the football in order to have success in this league. I take that as a challenge: to be able to go out there and throw whenever teams are playing that aggressive coverage.”
It’s safe to say that the quarterback (and his offense) responded to that challenge. The team finished with 409 yards of total offense, scoring on six of its 10 drives — in stark contrast to the Miami offense, which scored only once in 11 chances. Mahomes completed 23 of his 41 passes for 262 yards and a touchdown.
Social media to make you think
Swag surfin is now the chiefs official song pic.twitter.com/HWOwhWDQk5— holls ⸆⸉ (@tntayvis) January 14, 2024