Culture / Sporting Life

Snow Day Has Kansas City Completely Dismissing Deshaun Watson and Texans — Chiefs Fans and Local Paper Already Looking Ahead to AFC Championship Game

With Ravens Out, Patrick Mahomes is Being Prematurely Crowned in This Town

BY // 01.11.20

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With sidewalks and streets covered in snow — real, sticking snow not Texas snow — and temperatures rising to 19 degrees by 10 pm Saturday night (from a balmy 14 in the afternoon),  this is a city that went through a legit winter storm. Now, Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson get to try and make magic out of the elements.

Chiefs-Texans will be one of two NFL playoff games this weekend where the weather could play some sort of factor. While Kansas City temperatures are expected to rise into the thirties by Sunday’s 2 pm kickoff, this still will be some of the coldest conditions Watson has ever played in.

During his entire run at Clemson, this national championship winner played in only three games in temperatures below 50 degrees. The coldest? A 42 degree home game.

And the Texans haven’t exactly played a slew of true cold weather games during Watson’s run. One of the only ones where he was expected to battle the elements — last season’s Week 15 game at the New York Jets — turned into a 51 degree afternoon.

In contrast, Patrick Mahomes just played a brilliant snow game — throwing for 340 yards and two touchdowns  in a whiteout of Denver at Arrowhead Stadium — on Dec. 15.

Neither dynamic young quarterback will be playing in Green Bay-like conditions on this playoff Sunday, but it’s nevertheless advantage Mahomes in the weather department. And everyone in Kansas City seems to be banking on it.

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My Uber driver, hotel clerk and dinner waiter all brought up the idea of the Texans having trouble with the weather unprompted.

You think everyone likes to talk about the weather? Everyone really likes to talk about the weather when an NFL playoff game is involved.

Of course, many in Kansas City already expect Mahomes, Travis Kelce and the fastest man in the NFL (Tyreek Hill) to roll right over Watson and the Texans. The Chiefs are almost 10 point favorites by the oddsmakers. And the Kansas City Star ran a story on Saturday examining who the Chiefs could play in the AFC Championship Game, analyzing each potential matchup for next Sunday. They even gave the expected odds for Chiefs-Ravens and Chiefs-Titans.

You know before the Chiefs actually played the game they need to win to make the AFC Championship talk relevant.

Welcome to Confident Town!

The Baltimore Bounce

No. 1 seed Baltimore’s shocking loss to the Titans Saturday night means that the winner of this Chiefs-Texans game will host the AFC Championship Game next Sunday. Of course, that means everyone in Kansas City is already making plans to be at Arrowhead next weekend, too.

Watson likely has never been this big of an underdog in his entire life. Mahomes and he may be virtually equals, the two most exciting young quarterbacks in the NFL, selected two spots apart in the 2017 NFL Draft (Mahomes 10th, Watson 12th), both 24-year-old crossover stars.

But one is getting way more respect than the other heading into this playoff matchup.

Patrick Mahomes Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes has been good in any type of weather for the Chiefs.

Call it the burden of having Bill O’Brien as your coach if you must. But it’s also the result of some recency bias. After all, who’s really won more big games in his football life? Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson?

Dabo Swinney probably doesn’t need to give you the correct answer.

“It’s cool,” Watson says of matching up with Mahomes. “It’s cool to see a fellow friend of mine and a guy that’s playing the same position as me have so much success and see it in live action. So, it’s definitely dope.

“It’s going to be a good experience.”

Only one stud young quarterback is going to head into Sunday evening smiling, though, Everyone in Kansas City is already crowning Patrick Mahomes. Watson still might have someone to say about that.

Cold weather and all.

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