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Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa doesn’t seem too concerned about the possibility of cold and snowy weather when the Dolphins take on the Buffalo Bills on the road Saturday night.
While speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the former University of Alabama star made it clear that he’d experienced snow before, saying, “It snowed in Alabama my freshman year. So it’s snowing in Alabama, folks. People don’t know that.”
Regarding Saturday’s weather, Tua added: “Might snow, might rain, I don’t know. It’s really a matter of mindset, and if I’m too focused and worried, is it too cold? Can I catch the ball or not? Then I focus on the wrong things and it becomes difficult to play like that.”
Tagovailoa may have seen snow before, but as a native Hawaiian who played his college football in Alabama and his pro football in Florida, it probably wasn’t often.
According to the National Weather Service, the most snowfall in a single year in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, dating back to 1948 was seven inches in 1959-60. Since then, Tuscaloosa has never grown more than four inches in a single year.
Meanwhile, the Buffalo, New York area often reaches or exceeds 100 inches of snow in a year, rising to 97.4 inches in 2021-22, according to the National Weather Service.
Buffalo is already at 36.9 inches in 2022-23 after last month’s massive storm hit the area and forced a scheduled home game against the Cleveland Browns to be moved to Detroit Lions’ Ford Field.
Buffalo weather is often unpredictable and difficult to predict, but all indications are that Saturday will be the worst weather game of Tua’s career.
The Bills’ stadium is located in Orchard Park, New York, and according to Weather.com, Saturday’s forecast calls for up to three inches of snow, winds up to 15 miles per hour and a low temperature of 26 degrees.
When the Dolphins played a road game against the Los Angeles Chargers last week, they used sideline heaters in 55-degree weather, leading many to wonder how they’ll handle the tougher conditions in Buffalo.
Weather was a major factor in the Dolphins’ 21-19 Week 3 win over the Bills, as the extreme heat struggled for many Buffalo players, particularly along the offensive line.
While Miami had the advantage at the time, the cold and snowy weather numbers played straight into the Bills’ hands on Saturday.
The 10-3 Bills can secure a playoff berth with a win over the 8-5 Dolphins, and while a win wouldn’t win the AFC East, it would put Buffalo on the precipice of a third straight division title.