NFL international games typically don't end up with pregame hype like the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Miami Dolphins, as both teams are far above .500 and among the best in the AFC. Each enters the matchup at 6-2 as they head into the league's second regular season venture in Germany.
The Dolphins-Chiefs showdown could be a preview of the AFC title game and is one of the best games on the Week 9 schedule, arguably the best, yet won't be played on American soil and will be played early in the morning. This will be just the third game in the NFL International Series that will feature two teams entering the game with winning records, and it's easily the most hyped contest.
Why did Chiefs and Dolphins end up in Germany instead of the United States? The reason were explained in NBC's Football Morning in America column this week:
- Kansas City wanted the game to be in Germany. Every team has to play a game at an international site once every eight years, and the Chiefs wanted their game to be in Germany since they have global marketing rights there.
- Divisional games typically aren't international games, so the Chiefs -- the home team -- were limited to six home opponents.
- The Chiefs have a massive prime-time slate, with the Eagles, Bills, and Bengals on the schedule. All three were deemed late-season games by the league, with CBS getting the 4:25 p.m. doubleheader window in December for Chiefs-Bills and Chiefs-Bengals. Chiefs-Eagles was the "Monday Night Football" pick.
- With the Chiefs having nine home games, six opponents were eliminated for an international game based on divisional matchups and three were eliminated for other television windows. The Dolphins, Bears, and Lions were left. The Chiefs asked the NFL not to put the Bears matchup overseas since that would be the only time the Bears would play in Kansas City for eight years. The NFL was intrigued by the Lions for the NFL Kickoff Game ,so the Dolphins were the last opponent left.
The league lucked out with Kansas City and Miami as the first Germany game this year, though the Chiefs lost a home game as a result. With the AFC having just eight home games in 2024 (they have nine in odd-numbered years), the Chiefs weren't giving up a home game next year to play overseas.
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One of the league's best games in Week 9 is at 9:30 a.m., the only game in that time slot. The league will certainly win with TV ratings with this matchup, no matter the time slot.