The five-step checklist for the Kansas City Chiefs to move past the Dolphins

Will the Kansas City Chiefs be able to overcome their recent struggles and defeat the Miami Dolphins in a crucial Wild Card game? Find out what they need to do to secure a victory.

Dec 10, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) runs with
Dec 10, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) runs with / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
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The Kansas City Chiefs are set to take on the Miami Dolphins tonight in one of the NFL's six Wild Card games. The forecast calls for temperatures as low as -11 degrees Fahrenheit and winds ranging from 10 to 20 miles per hour. That's going to be a significant factor, especially for a team from South Florida.

Both of these teams have had poor second halves of the season as the Chiefs have lost 5 of their last 9 games (with starters playing) and the Dolphins have fallen in three of their last five games, including a 37-point defeat in Baltimore and a home loss to Buffalo in a must-win game.

Kansas City is dealing with questions surrounding their passing attack and turnovers, while the Dolphins are really struggling with injuries. Their top three pass rushers are all out for this game, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle are both nursing ankle injuries, star center Connor Williams is out for the season, and defensive backs DeShon Elliott, Jevon Holland, and Xavien Howard are all hurt, with the latter already being ruled out.

The Chiefs have no business losing this game. Doesn't mean they'll win, but they absolutely should. If they are going to emerge victorious and advance to the Divisional Round, here are the five things that they need to do:

1. No dumb mistakes

Given how injuries and the weather conditions are shaping out against Miami, the Chiefs should not lose this game. If they do fall, it would likely have been due to several dumb and preventable mistakes, which have cost the Chiefs several games this season.

"Dumb mistakes" include everything from giveaways to inexcusable drops to inopportune penalties. The Chiefs struggled with all three of this year. The team finished the regular season tied for 7th in giveaways, 1st in total drops, and Jawaan Taylor led all players in penalties by a solid margin.

Kansas City has a Super Bowl-caliber defense and as long as the offense doesn't put them in a bad position, Miami is not to score many points. If the Chiefs can play a clean game and force the Dolphins to march all the way down the field to score, they should be okay. If they get sloppy and turn the ball over or drop multiple passes, they'll be playing with fire, which they could also use to stay warm.