3 biggest reasons for the Chiefs to be afraid of the Dolphins

There are plenty of reasons for optimism but the Dolphins still offer K.C. a major challenge.

Buffalo Bills v Miami Dolphins
Buffalo Bills v Miami Dolphins / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

The Kansas City Chiefs will have their hands full this Saturday when they take on the Miami Dolphins in the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs. Many feel as if the Chiefs drew possibly the toughest path to get to the Super Bowl of any team this postseason, and it starts with having to face Miami's explosive offense in the first round.

That said, Miami is facing a lot of issues coming into this game. Miami's offense and the Dolphins team as a whole have been underwhelming in big games or games against winning teams as they have a 1-5 record against opponents that are above .500. Additionally, the Dolphins have a stockpile of injuries on the defensive side of the ball that has even forced them to sign aging veteran pass rushers Justin Houston and Bruce Irvin off the street for this game.

When you add in the fact this contest will be in Kansas City, and the Chiefs have the weather advantage there, While there are reasons to be optimistic that the Chiefs should win on Saturday, the Dolphins will provide a challenge all the same.

1. The Chiefs' offensive struggles

It's a known fact that Miami has struggled against the better teams this year and once again failed to win their division in the final regular season game against Buffalo, but the truth is the Kansas City Chiefs are in the same boat. Having Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Andy Reid would typically cause most people to give the Chiefs the clear edge in a Wild Card game, but Kansas City is also 1-4 against teams with a winning record this year with the lone win being against the Miami Dolphins at a neutral site in which the Chiefs needed a defensive touchdown to win.

Miami's defense is beaten up, but how many times have we said, "This is a get-right game for Kansas City's offense" against a bad defense this year and then they still come out flat and just barely eke out 20 points?

Things are shaping up to be a rock fight between these two teams as both of them struggle to put up points against better competition and that means any result is on the table. Kansas City has struggled to score as they typically do which means that if the Dolphins can get out to a quick start or go up 14-0 off the bat, the odds are Kansas City won't be able to keep up.

The Dolphins have arguably the best collection of skill position players in the league. While it's reasonable to have faith in Steve Spagnuolo and the defense to hold Miami in check on defense, we're talking about Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and the like. All it takes is a couple of big plays from the fastest wide receiver duo in the league and Kansas City could be in trouble no matter how good the defense is. Top talent tends to come through more often than not with Kansas City being a prime example of that over the years.

Yes, the Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes and the quarterback advantage, but how much has that really mattered this year? The offense hasn't been the same and every time Mahomes and the offense have had the ball with a chance to take the lead with a couple minutes left this year, it hasn't worked. So, if Kansas City is hoping that their defense pitches a shutout while the offense scrapes together 17 points, odds are the Chiefs aren't going to be able to win this one.

Essentially, this may come down to which offense can step up, and it's borderline irresponsible to say that the Chiefs offense is more likely to step up than Miami's because we've seen what Miami's offense can do this year when it's clicking. They put up 70 points in an NFL game this year. Kansas City? We haven't really seen it this year. The Chiefs' best bet is to keep this low-scoring and hope that they have enough.

2. The Dolphins' ground attack

The Chiefs' defense has been rather dominant this season, but if there's one area in which they lack, it's run defense. The Chiefs run defense ranks 18th in the league in opposing rushing yards per game and that stat isn't encouraging when you consider who the Chiefs are up against this week.

Miami is going to most likely be without Raheem Mostert who averaged 7.1 yards per carry against the Chiefs in Germany, but they'll have rookie running back De'Von Achane this time who is averaging 7.8 yards per carry on the season. Yes, you read that right. Achane is averaging nearly 8 yards per carry on the season and he has game-breaking speed.

When we're talking about the small margin for error this Chiefs team has on defense because of its offense, they cannot allow Miami's Achane to get loose and potentially take over the game. It's probably going to be expected that Miami run the ball a lot with the frigid temperatures expected for this game so the Chiefs have to come prepared.

3. Tyreek Hill

This pretty much ties into Miami's skill position players and offense once again, but Saturday will be Tyreek Hill's first time back at Arrowhead since being traded from the Chiefs to Miami last offseason and that needs to be emphasized.

Tyreek Hill is going to be extra motivated and knows what it's like to be playing at Arrowhead in the playoffs. On a young team that doesn't have a lot of it, Hill has playoff experience and a championship pedigree. We know the type of elite speed Tyreek Hill has, so Kansas City's secondary will have to be on its toes all game, assuming they aren't frost-bitten.

People will point to how Kansas City's defense held Tyreek Hill to just 8 catches for 62 yards and a fumble back in November, but it's going to be extremely difficult to lock Hill down for a second time this year knowing the elite player that he is.

Kansas City is going to be favored in this game and for good reason, but this one is far from a layup. Miami has an offense that can win any game and if they get the Chiefs into playing catch-up it might be the end of the road for Kansas City as they have been unsuccessful in those situations this year. There are just as many reasons to be afraid of the Dolphins as there are reasons to be optimistic in this one.