Vic Fangio knows a thing or two about preparing to face Patrick Mahomes on a Sunday. He also knows what it's like to walk away having failed at such an endeavor.
The Miami Dolphins are already in Frankfurt, Germany preparing to play the Kansas City Chiefs at Waldstadion on Sunday morning (American time) in Week 9. It's the most exciting showcased ever sent overseas by the National Football League, a highly-anticipated matchup between two true contenders in a crowded field in the AFC.
At the present time, both teams are 6-2 which means the winner of this match will have a leg up on the competition given their head-to-head record. The importance of this game only amplifies the difficulty of having to defend against one another, with Miami and K.C. both having offenses capable of moving the chains at will.
While the Chiefs have stalled offensively in some recent games, no one in the league is going to take them easy—and certainly not Fangio, who tried and failed to best them in the AFC West as head coach of the Denver Broncos from 2019-21.
During his seasons manning the sidelines at Mile High, Fangio's teams went 0-6 against the Chiefs. The point differential in those six games is a miserable 168-74, as the Chiefs averaged 28 points per game in dominant wins while the Broncos clearly struggled to score at all. The good news for Fangio is that his team is scoring at a much higher clip than the Broncos. Mike McDaniel has his team rolling over others with an offensive juggernaut that begins with former Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill, who just won Offensive Player of the Month in the AFC.
Can Fangio finally slow down Mahomes this time around? The Dolphins have to hope so. So far on their schedule, they've played two teams considered true contenders and they've lost by multiple scores to both the Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles. Fangio says the x-factor of having a weapon like Mahomes is what makes K.C. so tough.
"Try and hopefully limit the improvised plays, making good throws on the run. He's really tough -- you've got to defend the play they call in the huddle and then you've got to defend the play he calls when things break down," said Fangio to reporters after today's practice session in Frankfurt.
No one is quite sure how things will play out in Germany in Week 9 but the anticipation is good for the league and the sport internationally. While the NFL hopes that sending Mahomes overseas provides some real highlights to a new audience, Fangio will do his best to limit him.