It is a day late, but it is indeed that time of the week again. A time for all of us to sit back and listen to the wondrous things that have been said about our Chiefs and where they fall in comparison to the other squads in the NFL. In last week's piece, I acknowledged there would be some fluctuation in the AFC West due to the four teams playing each other, but I think it is safe to say this is not the scenario we envisioned.
This week's rankings look a lot like you would expect them to, with a couple of exceptions. The one constant is that Oakland is now the number one team in the AFC West both in the actual standings and in the view of our eight expert ranking lists. The Chiefs meanwhile find themselves at the bottom of the AFC West on six of the eight lists, and received one third place vote and one second place vote (not sure how this happened). Rather than talk more about it, let us find out where we really stand in the eyes of those who judge us weekly in another installment of the NFL Power Rankings: Media Edition.
Let's take a deep breath and think happy thoughts while we receive the news this week. If you have been a weekly reader, you know we have had some good weeks, but this one looks more like the days of Weeks 1-3. Let's examine:
Fox Sports with Brian Billick: Our biggest fan all year (invisible sarcasm font), Brian Billick, sums up the Chiefs in this provocative blurb on Fox Sports: "Ummmm…." Seriously, that is all he said. I mean at least say something, call us names, whatever. The Chiefs were placed in the #30 spot by BB, down six spots from last week. Oakland was on top at 15th, while the Chargers and Broncos came in at 17th and 21st respectively. You will see this across the board for the most part, but I cannot grasp how San Diego can lose four straight and still not leave the top 20. They are not that good and it is time to give them the "Chiefs" treatment
Football Outsiders: The Football Outsiders dropped the Chiefs as far as they have been in quite a while. The statistical wizardry of FO puts the Chiefs right with Coach Billick at 30th. The good news here is that we still have the second-best defense and special teams in the West according to FO. Unfortunately our offense is 28th in the NFL, behind almost everyone and probably some collegiate teams as well. The Outsiders have Oakland at 18th this week, which is close to a season high for them here. Meanwhile, San Diego is 21st and Denver is right behind them at 22nd.
Walter Football: Walter has been good to us all year so I could not be too bitter about him dropping us ten spots to 29th this week. His reasoning was simply, "Matt Cassel is out for the year, which is why the Chiefs are this low." Not necessarily true, but I get it. He should come to AP once in a while to make that case because in some threads it would seem losing Cassel should bump us up ten! But as always, I digress. The Raiders went up ten spots themselves as they are now at #10 and seemingly primed to make a move to pull away. Walter's gutsiest move (and I cannot say I disagree totally) is having the Broncos at 17th, one spot ahead of the Chargers. 17 may be too high, but I have been more impressed by their efforts than those of the Bolts.
SB Nation: Joel Thorman, special guest of the Danny Parkins show this week and head NFL honcho at SB Nation, is kind to our Chiefs this week as he ranks them at 21st, down two spots from last week. Oakland is his top West team at 16th, while the Chargers are at 18th and the Broncos moved up three spots to number 20. One of my few disagreements though with SB Nation is that Miami is still 31st. Give the mammals some credit for those two wins!! Heck, they beat the first place Chiefs at Arrowhead (smileyface emoticon needed to show me laughing at my own witty banter).
ESPN: Remember last week's game with the Broncos? Of course, I know. But hey, we got some press out of it. Look at what they have to say about the 19th ranked Broncos now: "We have to credit the Broncos for finding a way to win with Tim Tebow, even if it sets back the modern game." Well I guess it could be worse, I mean it's not like a winless team beat us! Ugh. Anyway, the Chiefs come in at 21 here as well, which could also be construed as generosity on ESPN's part. Oakland leads the way at 16th and the Chargers follow behind at 18th. I wonder how an ESPN 24-hour football marathon would go. I would definitely be up for a Chiefs-Packers 6 AM start like they did for college basketball. Someone make some calls.
National Football Post: More of the same here at NFP as Oakland is in front at 13th and comfortably ahead of San Diego and Denver who are 18th and 20th. The Chiefs fall three spots to 23rd and with the upcoming schedule, look for that number to grow in the coming weeks.
Pro Football Talk: Bringing the heat once again is PFT and I will repeat that their blend of analysis and humor makes my weekly rankings hunt worthwhile. Even for us, the 20th ranked Chiefs we have some humor: "The guy who beat out Joe Flacco at Pitt has a chance to salvage the Chiefs’ season". Which is precisely why Dave Wannstedt is now unemployed. The Chiefs are not at the bottom of the West according to PFT as they have the Chargers one spot below at 21st. I like it. I like it a lot, mostly because the Chargers stink. Oakland leads the way at 13th and the Broncos get their highest rank of the week at 17th.
CBS Sports: If you have time at some point, check out these CBS rankings. And if you think Pete Prisco was sober while compiling them, let me know. The Chiefs drop just two spots to 18th this week and while that is beyond generous, he has them seven spots ahead of the Broncos who just came in and beat us at home. Apparently two straight division wins is only good enough to get the Broncos up to 25th. Oakland moves up four spots to 14th and San Diego is one spot behind the Chiefs at 19th. There is just a lot of inconsistency in CBS' rankings every week, but other than the Outsiders, I suppose everyone's subjectivity/objectivity is different.
Well, not as exciting as usual, I will admit. I even felt like I was letting my regular readers down. But after a two-week stretch in which we went from celebrations to disaster, I think it is ok if we are all a little "blah" this week. Unfortunately, going into New England Monday night probably won't help our mood next week but we can still try to stay upbeat. For now though, enjoy your evening, your week and I will see you soon. This has been the NFL Power Rankings: Media Edition.