Eight days after dismantling the Colts on a snowy afternoon in western Missouri, the Chiefs will return to host another postseason showdown with an even later kickoff, at 6:40 p.m. ET. Early weather reports suggested a frozen evening for their AFC Championship Game against the Patriots, but recent updates have upgraded that forecast to merely “pretty cold.”
Original lows of 5 degrees Fahrenheit have been bumped up to the mid-20s — still low enough to freeze water and for the ideal gas law to get Tom Brady’s footballs nice and grippable, but not low enough to actively punish any fans brave enough to stand outside in it.
And, sadly, after last week’s snow game against the Colts, there’s only a 10 percent chance of precipitation Sunday evening. That doesn’t mean the Chiefs aren’t ready to keep their loyal fans warm from the inside out.
Concessionaire Aramark says there will be at least 45 hot chocolate locations at Arrowhead on Sunday for the frigid temps at the AFC Championship game.— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) January 18, 2019
Told they are also selling "Hot Chocolate with a Kick." Options include Peppermint Schnapps, Bailey's or Jim Beam Fire.
The Chiefs and Patriots both have fond memories of playoff snow football
It was fair to wonder how cold and snow would impact the Chiefs’ potent passing offense as they braced for a Divisional Round showdown with the Colts last weekend. Kansas City’s league-leading scoring attack is built on Patrick Mahomes’ arm, and the combination of a slippery and rock-solid football threatened to force Kansas City to rethink its attack.
Mahomes still dropped back 45 times last week, but the headliner from the Chiefs’ victory last week came on the ground. Kansas City rushed for 180 yards and four touchdowns to effectively snuff out Indianapolis by halftime. The club may not have been the aerial juggernaut it was in the regular season, but it proved it can adapt to outside circumstances and still find a way to grind opponents into dust.
The warmer weather may be a good sign for 41-year-old Tom Brady, but he’s thrived in the snow at home in the past. His performance in 2002’s Divisional Round game against the Raiders set his legend in motion, even if it was aided by the correct interpretation of a questionable rule late in the fourth quarter:
In 2009, he set an NFL record by slinging five touchdown passes in a single quarter at a snowy Gillette Stadium in a Week 6 blowout win over the Titans.
Brady took a step back from his 2016 and 2017 late-career peaks to have a good, but not great, 2018. He can prove he’s still got his playoff magic in him with another legendary showing in the cold Sunday.