It’s that time of year again in Buffalo when vast amounts of snow fall from the sky, but for those who live there it’s commonplace. For visitors like the Miami Dolphins, who are used to hot weather and sun, it could come as a surprise.
But Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa isn’t worried because Buffalo is expected to see a cold and snowy game on Sunday.
The elements won’t affect it, he insists.
“It could be snowing, it could be raining, I don’t know,” Tagovailoa said. “It’s a question of mentality, really, and if I’m too focused and worried about: ‘Is it too cold? Can I catch the ball or not?’ — then I’m focused on the wrong things, and it’s going to be hard to play that way.”
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Snow conditions in soccer change things drastically. Miami, especially, is a team that likes to execute game action passes and shoot more often than run the ball. Buffalo is similar.
Running the ball becomes more effective in these conditions. Although both offenses rely heavily on their passing game, the Bills have been through these kinds of bad conditions in the past. Dolphins, not so much.
But Tagovailoa, a native of Hawaii, said he encountered snow once during his time at the University of Alabama.
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“It snowed in Alabama my freshman year,” he recalled. “So it snows in Alabama, guys. People don’t know that.”
Tagovailoa also said he visited his younger brother Taulia Tagovailoa in Maryland, where Taulia plays quarterback, last winter for some outdoor workouts in cold temperatures.
And he is not the only one who believes that the cold is simply a mentality. Head coach Mike McDaniel had a little fun at the Dolphins’ practice facility, wearing a “I wish it was colder” T-shirt in preparation for this weekend’s game.
The Dolphins also turned the air conditioning in their practice facility as low as possible. While that was not remotely close to how it will feel in Buffalo, it is much colder than the 70s and 80s weather in Miami.
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The snow in Maryland and Alabama doesn’t compare to Buffalo, something Bills fans will tell anyone. It will be a challenge for Tua and the Dolphins to pull off their explosive plays with deep downfield passes.
The National Weather Service says up to 9 inches of snow will fall in the Buffalo area this weekend.
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There are AFC East implications for this game, too. The Bills lead the division by two games at 10-3 over the 8-5 Dolphins. Miami has lost its last two games, while Buffalo is riding a four-game winning streak.