Patrick Mahomes is making a change for the cold weather game. Other leaders also follow suit

Patrick Mahomes says that in this case functionality will take precedence over fashion.

The Kansas City Chiefs home game is expected to be very cold Saturday afternoon. And for Mahomes, that means one, but only one, change to his usual wardrobe.

“I’m going to throw out that little neck warmer I always wear. It doesn’t look good, but it keeps my neck warm,” Mahomes said with a smile. “I’m not a big guy, like, to wear or something, so that’s it.”

The weather will definitely be a factor on Saturday.

The wind chill for the kickoff against the Seattle Seahawks at Arrowhead Stadium is expected to be in the single digits. And while KC won’t have to prepare for those exact conditions until game day, head coach Andy Reid introduced a draft to his team’s workout on Wednesday, opening the doors of the team’s in-house training facility to let in some of the winter air.

How much temperature affects players depends on their location and history with freezing environments.

Chiefs long snapper James Winchester, for example, experienced many freezing games during his eight pro seasons.

However, his job requires him to manage football as much as anyone other than quarterbacks and centers. This means that his preparation will focus on an effort to ‘manage his hands a little better’ by using the hand warmers often and staying close to the heaters on the sideline.

“The name of the game is not keeping your hands off the elements any longer than necessary,” said Winchester. “So if you have to run for a punt, or an extra point or a hands-in-the-bag field goal, that’s what I do.”

Rookie cornerback Joshua Williams won’t grip the football so much, but his most significant challenge will be dealing with a new experience. Williams grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolina and went to college in the same hot spot.

“This is going to be the coldest game I’ve ever played in my life,” Williams said. “I am 100% prepared. Coach (Andy) Reid is making sure we’re prepared. We treat it like any other game. Let’s take the necessary steps to go out there and compete.”

Williams, like Mahomes, didn’t have many outfit changes planned. He said he probably would put his sleeves down on this game, but didn’t anticipate any other changes.

KC-Seattle will be far from the only weather-affected NFL competition this weekend. New Orleans in Cleveland, for example, is expected to be an even worse atmosphere for crime, with winds expected to be 25 mph. As such, the current total of 32.5 over-unders — the combined points total predicted by the bookmakers for the two teams — is the lowest mark for an NFL game since 2010, according to data from Stathead.

Mahomes’ launching conditions are expected to be better than KC’s; forecasts call for 9 mph winds Saturday with gusts around 8pm.

The over-under total for the Chiefs-Seahawks is also 49, meaning Vegas doesn’t believe Saturday’s extreme circumstances will affect offenses also much.

“We’re going to go out there and play,” Mahomes said. “It’s still football at the end of the day.”

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