By Matt Derrick
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Growing up in Georgia and playing most of his football below the Mason-Dixon line before coming to Kansas City, Tyreek Hill never played in a true snow game, and he couldn’t wait to hit the field Sunday.
“First snow game I’m excited let’s gooooooo!!!” Hill tweeted from the locker room before the game.
Hill and his Chiefs teammates dominated the Denver Broncos 23-3, and playing winning football in the snow let them celebrate like kids in the back yard in winter.
“It was awesome, it was a lot of fun,” quarterback Patrick Mahomes said. “You saw the guys, they were embracing it.”
Similar to Hill, safety Tyrann Mathieu spent the bulk of his football career playing in Louisiana, Arizona and Texas before coming to Kansas City. That made Sunday’s snow day a first for him as well.
“As soon as I woke up, saw the snow coming down,” Mathieu said. “Obviously my first time playing in that kind of weather, so I was nervous at first, especially with the footing, but I had fun. It was a hell of a game.”
The snow started early Sunday morning and never letup, turning the Arrowhead Stadium turf into a winter wonderland. The snow picked up intensity in the second half, making it a futile job for the grounds crew to keep the field clear. The crew did its best to clear the sideline and yard markers, but after the start of the game even keeping the end zone free of snow proved fruitless.
Hill got the fun going early when he caught a 41-yard touchdown strike from Mahomes on the team’s opening drive of the game. Hill ran a corner post toward the end zone, and kept running into the tunnel toward the locker rooms.
“I was so deep into the tunnel, it was crazy,” Hill said. “I just hope I don’t get fined for that for delay of game or something. I was way so far into the tunnel.”
After Mahomes and Hill connected for a 5-yard touchdown on the opening drive of the second half, the Chiefs went for a two-point conversion. Mahomes scrambled and found Sammy Watkins in the back of the end zone for the conversion, and Hill and Watkins celebrated making non-choreographed snow angels.
“Just spontaneous,” hill said. “Off the top of the head.”
Center Austin Reiter stood next to Hill and Watkins in the end zone, waving his arms above his head.
“I just stood there and I was like, ‘Yeah,’” Reiter said with a laugh. “I was like, I’m not not laying in the snow right now. Do I lay down and do it? No.”
The offensive line found other ways to have fun in the snow, however. Late in the fourth quarter, left tackle Eric Fisher drew his number, 72, in the snow behind the Chiefs huddle. Left guard Andrew Wylie saw it, and decided to do some editing.
“Fish did his little 72 thing,” said Wylie, who wears No. 77. “At first I thought it was a 77, I was like, ‘Why did you do that?’ and I was like ‘Oh, I see the 72.’ Made it into a 77.”
He says he never would have thought of it on his own though.
“I’m not going to do that, that’s a Fish thing,” Wylie said.
Forget snow angels, Andrew Wylie drew his number in the snow pic.twitter.com/9YNDYtPJsU
— Aly Trost (@AlyTrost) December 15, 2019
The Chiefs didn’t seem to have any trouble navigating the snow on Sunday. Mahomes completed 27-of-34 passing for 340 yards despite the slippery conditions. He experienced snow showers for the first time in last January’s Divisional Playoff win over Indianapolis, and that gave him confidence heading on to the field Sunday.
“I was a little nervous then, I got out there in warmups and realized it’s actually pretty sticking and you can kind of spin it,” Mahomes said. “Knowing that going in, I knew I had that experience before, so I leaned on that and got out there today and just tried to find ways to get the ball to the guys and they were making plays.”
Tight end Travis Kelce said he didn’t see much a challenge for Mahomes Sunday.
“Challenge? It’s pretty unbelievable,” Kelce said. “He was winging it. Those weren’t just balls like shot puts you usually see in the snow or in a really bad rain game. He was out there letting it fly. He’s a special guy. I’ve never seen anybody throw the ball like that in the snow, that’s for sure.”
While the Chiefs enjoyed their snow day, that doesn’t mean they want to repeat the experience. Hill and his teammates had fun, but he’s willing to pass on a sequel.
“I wouldn’t want to do it again because it’s very cold, but I definitely had fun today,” Hill said.
Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com and a contributor for Sports Radio 810 WHB. Follow him on Twitter @mattderrick.