Breaking down the turning point in Chiefs Wild Card win vs. Dolphins

When was it obvious that the Dolphins weren't going to mount a comeback?

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Miami Dolphins v Kansas City Chiefs
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Miami Dolphins v Kansas City Chiefs / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

The Kansas City Chiefs are advancing to the AFC Divisional Round after defeating the Miami Dolphins on Saturday night by a score of 26-7. It wasn't a great performance from the Chiefs yet they still won by double-digits so that's good news moving forward.

The Chiefs could have put this game away a whole lot sooner if their offense had been able to score touchdowns instead of field goals. That's why the turning point of the game didn't come until the fourth quarter, which is when the Chiefs were able to slam the door shut on this game despite not coming through in the red zone.

When was the turning point for the Chiefs in Wild Card win?

With roughly 13 minutes to go in regulation, the Chiefs had the ball and were looking to put a lid on the game and send the Dolphins packing. At that point, the Chiefs were up 19-7 and while it looked like they'd be able to win the game handily, Chiefs fans know all too well how quickly momentum can change in a game, especially in the playoffs.

Earlier, the Dolphins had scored what ended up being their only touchdown with ease and anyone who watched them throughout the season knew how quickly they could put points on the board. That's why it didn't feel over early in the fourth quarter because playoff football can be wild.

Anyway, the Chiefs had the ball and it was 2nd-and-10 at the Miami 17-yard line. Patrick Mahomes, who was under pressure, threw the ball away immediately but it didn't go out of bounds and no one was in the area, so he was flagged with intentional grounding. That made it 3rd-and-20 on the Miami 27-yard line when Mahomes was immediately pressured again and threw the ball away once more.

When another flag popped up, Mike Tirico (who was calling the game) made a comment that it could be intentional grounding again, which would have made it 4th-and-30 from the Miami 37-yard line. Suddenly, a field goal might not be so easy in the winds that were whipping around Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday night.

Fortunately, it was a roughing the passer call on Christian Wilkins, which gave Kansas City a fresh set of downs and an opportunity to continue draining the clock. Four players later, Isiah Pacheco popped into the end zone to make it 26-7 and put the finishing touches on this game.

While the Dolphins looked uninterested and uninspired all night, that intentional grounding call could have been the momentum they were looking for to try and make a comeback in this one. They never had the chance to do so though and the Chiefs were able to win yet another playoff game.