Dolphins’ Tyreek Hill tastes frigid defeat in his long-awaited return to Kansas City



So much for Tyreek Hill’s triumphant return to Kansas City.

The All-Pro wide receiver, who became a star for the Chiefs before he was traded to Miami, had a long touchdown catch for the Dolphins but was otherwise shut down Saturday night as Kansas City rolled to a 26-7 victory in their wild-card playoff game.

Hill finished with five catches for 62 yards — and nearly all of it came on that 53-yard pass, when he adjusted beautifully to a ball badly underthrown by Tua Tagovailoa. Hill fought through pass interference on All-Pro cornerback Trent McDuffie, made the grab and ran to the end zone while no doubt generating flashbacks to the many times he did that wearing a red jersey.

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Yet it was the guys currently wearing red Saturday night that made most of the plays.

Patrick Mahomes, who spent six seasons throwing passes to Hill, kept finding new favorite wide receiver Rashee Rice and his longtime security blanket, Travis Kelce. And what quietly became the league’s No. 2 defense this season shut down Hill, fellow wide receiver Jaylen Waddle and the rest of a Miami offense that led the NFL in yards during the regular season.

Tagovailoa had just 199 yards passing with an interception, and Miami had 264 yards as a team.

It was a difficult finish to a season in which Hill shattered the Dolphins record with an NFL-best 1,799 yards receiving.

Just over a week ago, Hill had to rush home from practice as firefighters doused the roof of his burning South Florida home. It turned out the fire, which was started by a child playing with a cigarette lighter in a bedroom, had caused so much damage to his $6.9 million home that Hill remains unsure whether he will be able to move back in.

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Then the Dolphins proceeded to lose to Buffalo in their regular-season finale, costing them not only the AFC East but also the opportunity to host a home playoff game. Instead of playing in balmy Miami on Saturday, where the temperature was 69 degrees Fahrenheit at kickoff, they were stuck playing in Kansas City in the fourth-coldest game in NFL history.

That didn’t seem to bother Hill, who joked about how cold he was walking into Arrowhead Stadium but nonetheless walked onto the field about an hour later wearing a short-sleeve shirt for warmups.

It was minus-4 degrees Fahrenheit with a minus-27 wind chill at kickoff.

The Dolphins’ offense was equally frigid. It went 1 for 12 on third down, rarely put together a sustained drive and ultimately did nothing to support a defense that had been battered by injuries yet kept Miami in the game Saturday night.

In the end, the Dolphins were still left to chase their first playoff win since Dec. 30, 2000, when they beat Indianapolis.

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