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NFL power rankings: Chiefs tumble, Raiders rise

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Let's review the 2016 NFL power rankings for the Kansas City Chiefs this week. Here's what they're saying:

SB Nation: 10

The Chiefs climbed all the way to 7-2, but did so with some unimpressive victories in November. It looked like it could be a bubble set to burst and a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers certainly qualified as that. Before the 19-17 loss to Tampa Bay, the Chiefs struggled to find offense against the Carolina Panthers and Jaguars. There are scarier opponents on the schedule ahead, so the Chiefs better get their offensive issues figured out soon. But at least the Chiefs are still in contention. It looks like it might be safe to put a fork in the Arizona Cardinals after a 30-24 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. A week ago, the Cardinals barely survived the San Francisco 49ers, and four of the next five teams on the schedule have winning records. 7

Not a good day to be a Chiefs fan. First, it started with a collective Uh-oh at the news of Marcus Peters not playing. Peters is the frontrunner for Defensive Player of the Year, especially after forcing that fumble to set up the game-winning kick at Carolina in Week 10. You don't want your top corner out against Mike Evans, who sees more footballs thrown his way than anyone else in the game today. Of course, Alex Smith's fourth-quarter end-zone interception was even costlier than Evans' production on Sunday. Let's be straight as an arrow here: Smith isn't playing well. Far from terrible, but minimal big-play action from No. 11 has translated to just 29 offensive points over the last two weeks.

CBS Sports: 8

That was a bad hiccup at home losing to the Bucs. The defense has had issues the past month.


Alex Smith has as many touchdown passes as Case Keenum this season (nine). Let that sink in for a moment, because the Chiefs are 7-3 this season (6-3 when Smith starts). Who knows how good they'd be if they had better quarterback play? Smith will need to be good this week against the Broncos' stout defense.

USA Today: 7

That five-game winning streak -- surprisingly snapped by Bucs at Arrowhead -- had masked worrisome K.C. struggles since calendar hit November.

Yahoo: 6

Losing at home in a close game after a 7-2 start is not a crime, but it’s not like there’s much margin for error in the AFC West. Especially with a game at Denver coming up next week.

Washington Post: 10

The Chiefs couldn’t live with all of the prosperity and lost to a team, the Buccaneers, that they should have handled fairly easily at home. It wasn’t a season-wrecking defeat. But such missteps are costly in a division as unforgiving as this season’s AFC West.

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