If you were hoping for a 2019 NFL Playoffs game featuring a pile of snow, you’re in a lot of luck. And when the Chiefs take the field against the Colts on Saturday to kick off the Divisional Round, the snow will be a factor inside of Arrowhead Stadium.
This morning we already had shots from people with boots on the ground showing significant snow accumulation on the seats of Arrowhead Stadium. Kickoff is set for 4:35 p.m. ET (NBC, stream on fuboTV, try for free).
So that looks cold! A shot from NFL Network shows that the stadium is indeed coated in snow.
The snow should have no effect on Colts rookie and New Jersey native, Quenton Nelson.
And a video from the NFL’s social media team really shows how dusty it is in the stadium as of 2 p.m. ET, which is getting pretty close to kick but still a good two plus hours away from any football actually being played.
And a quick dive into the weather forecast shows that the snow might not be stopping right away either. The heaviest precipitation is supposed to come down during the remainder of the morning and on through lunch time.
But it appears there’s a 50/50 chance of getting some snow during the Chiefs-Colts game as well. As you can see there’s been a WINTER STORM WARNING issued for Missouri as well. This is a pretty hefty weather movement.
The reality is no one can easily predict how much snow is going to drop on this game. The National Weather Service department in Kansas City is suggesting there could be three-to-five inches on the ground throughout the course of the storm. But there’s a fine line where it could end up dropping a BOMB on Kansas City, with eight inches of snow not that far off.
Accuweather is suggesting that even though multiple inches of snow could fall, only flurries are going to remain for the Colts-Chiefs game.
So what does this mean for the actual football being played? The total hasn’t been severely affected yet. It’s dropped from 57 on Friday night down to 56 on Saturday morning. It’s possible to see it continue to drop throughout the day depending on how the weather looks, but these are still two high-scoring teams without much in the way of defense. You can call the Colts a good defense, let’s not overlook who they’ve played and call them elite or anything. Patrick Mahomes should score on them.
The line is holding fairly steady: the Chiefs are still 5-point favorites, although most of the wagers are on the Colts in this game. The Action Network’s public betting tracker has 61 percent of the bets on Indianapolis.
Who does the weather favor? It’s kind of a toss up here. Mahomes and the Chiefs are the outdoors team, but Mahomes doesn’t have a ton of experience in these kinds of conditions. He didn’t play many cold-weather games while in college at Texas Tech, and he has just four starts in his career so far where the temperature is below 40 degrees.
These starts include last season’s Week 17 start against the Broncos (17 degrees, a 27-24 win) and a pair of starts in 2018: a Week 14 overtime 27-24 overtime win over the Ravens at home (27 degrees) and a Week 15 28-29 loss to the Chargers at home (39 degrees).
Andrew Luck feels like more of a winter-style quarterback, but might just be his glorious neck beard. Looking at Indianapolis history in cold-weather games, they don’t have much experience. Such is life for a dome team. The Colts played a pair of 2017 games in temperatures below 40 degrees (including the famous blizzard game in Buffalo last year) but Luck wasn’t playing last season. Their last sub-40 degree game before that? 2015 against the Steelers, and Matt Hasselbeck was under center for that game too.
Including the playoffs, Luck has just six games played in his career below 40 degrees. But it’s notable that one of them came in the playoffs (a 24-13 win against the Broncos in Denver) and two of them came against the Chiefs, both straight up victories in Kansas City. One of those games was against Andy Reid (2013) while the other was against Romeo Crennel (2012).
For his career, Luck is 4-2 against the spread in these cold-weather games. Mahomes is 1-2.
Chiefs fans are embracing the snow, by the way. They’re out in full force to celebrate this playoff berth and to try and party in the tailgate area.
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