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The Miami Dolphins are going to feel very much like the road team during their Saturday night matchup against the rival Buffalo Bills. Old Man Winter arrived in Buffalo on Friday night, and left behind about eight inches of the white stuff. Buffalo isn't done with the snow just yet either, as a Lake Effect Snow Warning is in effect until 1 p.m. ET Sunday.

Orchard Park got a break from the snow in the morning, but things are expected to ramp up again later today. According to the hourly forecast, precipitation will go from a "few snow showers" at 2 p.m. ET, to "snow showers" by 5 p.m. ET and then just straight up "snow" by kickoff at 8:15 p.m. ET. So expect plenty of handoffs in prime time. 

The Dolphins are doing their best to come prepared for the bleak conditions as they've brought 1,400 pounds of trunks with cold weather gear to Orchard Park, per NFL Media. Every player has multiple cleats to try on to find the best footing in the snow. 

Tua Tagovailoa has not had success in cold-weather games in his three years as the Dolphins' quarterback. He is winless in the four coldest games he has started, with a passer rating of just 61.4. In those games, Tagovailoa has scored just three total touchdowns while turning the ball over six times, according to CBS Sports senior research editor Doug Clawson.

Coldest Games in Tua Tagovailoa's Career

YearOpponentScoreTua's stats
2020at Broncos20-13 11-20, 83 yards, 1 TD
2020at Bills56-2635-58, 351 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT


at Bills


21-39, 205 yards, INT


at Titans


18-38, 205 yards, INT 

As you can see, two of Tagovailoa's cold weather losses have come against the Bills, who will host the Dolphins in what will be Tagovailoa's coldest NFL game to date. Saturday's expected temperature is between 25-28 degrees, making it Tagovailoa's first NFL game in freezing conditions. Snow showers are also in the forecast, which will likely make throwing downfield more difficult.

Coach Mike McDaniel downplayed talk of the Dolphins' cold-weather struggles this week, telling reporters "it is the same field, the same elements" for both teams in Week 15, and wearing a T-shirt to practice that read, "I Wish It Were Colder." 

Tagovailoa also did not put much stock into the frigid and snowy forecast, which calls for a low of 27 degrees, 11 MPH winds and 85% chance of more snow, according to

"It snowed in Alabama my first year. So it snows in Alabama, guys," Tagovailoa said during his press conference Wednesday. "People don't know that. Some people just think it gets cold, but it does snow."

"It's a mindset thing," he said. "If I'm too focused and worried about if it's too cold, can I grab the ball, can I not, then I would say I'm focused on the wrong things. It would be hard to play that way going over there against a really good team."

Tua Tagovailoa
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To be fair, Tagovailoa's previous struggles in cold weather games shouldn't be solely attributed to him. He was a rookie during Miami's road losses in Denver and in Buffalo late in the 2020 season. And, in the case of Miami's 30-point drubbing to end the season, Tagovailoa and the Dolphins' offense threw an uncharacteristically high volume of passes while trying in vein to keep their playoff hopes alive. 

Tagovailoa's other two cold weather losses came against superior teams in Buffalo and Tennessee. Those games also did not include his new coach or wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who made several big plays on Sunday night. 

A win this weekend would not only keep the Dolphins in the race to win the AFC East division title, it would also halt the growing narrative that Tagovailoa and Co. can't get it done in cold climates.