Kansas City Chiefs hold on against Miami Dolphins in first NFL Game in Frankfurt, Germany

The Kansas City Chiefs took home the win in the NFL’s first ever game in Frankfurt, Germany, as they defeated the Miami Dolphins by a score of 21-14.

The fans packed Deutsche Bank Park stadium and cheered both teams with raucous enthusiasm, definitely doing their part, but that didn’t help two of the top offenses in the NFL as they found themselves neutralized for large parts of the game.

Playing as the home team, Kansas City got the ball first and struck quickly, marching down the field and finding the end zone on a touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes to rookie Rashee Rice.  The next seven possessions all ended in punts, a surprising twist in a meeting between two of the league’s top offenses.  The Chiefs eventually got the ball early in the second quarter on their own five yard line, when Mahomes led them on a 13-play, 95-yard drive capped off by a touchdown pass to Jerick McKinnon.

The Dolphins then took over, looking to cut into the deficit before halftime.  However, disaster struck when Chiefs defender Trent McDuffie forced a Tyreek Hill fumble on a screen pass.  The ball was picked up by Mike Edwards, who was about to be tackled before he lateralled it to Chiefs teammate Bryan Cook, who returned the ball all the way to the end zone.  This gave Kansas City a commanding 21-0 lead heading into halftime.

Photo: Sarah Phillipp

After the teams traded punts to open the second half, the Dolphins got on the board with a 31 yard touchdown strike from Tua Tagovailoa to Cedrick Wilson.  On the ensuing Kansas City possession, Mahomes fumbled while being sacked by Bradley Chubb, and the Dolphins pounced on the loose ball.  With good field position, it took the Miami offense just four plays to find the end zone, as Raheem Mostert ran it in from 13 yards out. The game felt totally one-sided at halftime, but the Dolphins quickly got right back into the contest.

In the fourth quarter, the Dolphins forced a Chiefs punt and got the ball back looking to tie the game.  After they moved the ball into Kansas City territory, a couple of negative plays killed their momentum, and they were forced to punt.  The Chiefs went three-and-out, so Miami got one more chance to pull even.  They had the ball at midfield with two minutes left, but the drive stalled out.  On 4th and 10 with the game on the line, the snap got away from Tua Tagovailoa, and the Dolphins’ comeback hopes were dashed.

Photo: Sarah Phillipp

In a meeting of two high-flying offenses, it was the defenses that stood out.  The Dolphins’ offense was shut out in the first half, while the Chiefs’ offense was shut out in the second half.  Both Mahomes and Tagovailoa were held to under 200 passing yards, which is something that would have seemed unfathomable before the game.  The play of the game was undoubtedly the Chiefs’ scoop-and-score with a lateral, as the game would have looked a lot different in the fourth quarter otherwise.

Photo: Sarah Phillipp

The Chiefs move to 7-2 with the win, while the Dolphins fell to 6-3.  The Dolphins have only won their games against sub-.500 teams, whereas their three losses have come against Super Bowl contenders.  With that being said, it would not be a shock if these teams met again in January.

The sellout crowd of 50,023 did their part in the city’s first NFL game, representing their favorite teams and making a lot of noise.  Just like last year’s game in Munich, the fans belted out John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” in unison in the second half in a cool moment.  The NFL returns to Frankfurt next week as the Indianapolis Colts meet the New England Patriots.

A current student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carter played football in high school and has been a lifelong avid football fan.