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Week 7 Pundit Power Rankings: Chiefs still in the top three

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The Chiefs moved down — and then back up — as the pundit power rankings were released on Tuesday.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs are coming off their very first loss of the season, and power rankings from the national writers reflect that. One of them — Yahoo’s Frank Schwab — held the Chiefs steady, but most dropped the team a spot or two.

The Chiefs started at third in our aggregated pundit power rankings when we tabulated the early ones on Tuesday morning, fell to fourth when the MMQB poll came in, and finally settled in to a tie for third (with the New Orleans Saints) when Elliot Harrison released his NFL.com power rankings.

Here’s how the pundits ranked all 32 teams:

Pundit Power Rankings for Week 7

Chiefs AFC West Teams Other AFC Teams

Rank Team ESPN MMQB NFL SBN SpNws Yahoo CBS USA
1
(1)
Rams
6-0
1
(1)
1
(1)
1
(1)
1
(1)
1
(1)
1
(1)
1
(1)
1
(1)
2
(4)
Patriots
4-2
2
(3)
2
(3)
2
(4)
2
(6)
2
(4)
3
(3)
3
(7)
2
(4)
3
(3)
Saints
4-1
4
(4)
3
(4)
4
(3)
4
(3)
3
(3)
4
(4)
2
(4)
3
(3)
3
(2)
Chiefs
5-1
3
(2)
4
(2)
3
(2)
3
(2)
4
(2)
2
(2)
4
(2)
4
(2)
5
(10)
Chargers
4-2
8
(14)
8
(10)
6
(10)
5
(12)
5
(11)
7
(10)
6
(11)
5
(5)
6
(9)
Vikings
3-2-1
10
(11)
5
(7)
5
(9)
7
(10)
6
(9)
5
(6)
8
(13)
9
(12)
7
(11)
Ravens
4-2
5
(10)
12
(14)
7
(11)
6
(9)
7
(10)
9
(13)
5
(10)
6
(10)
8
(12)
Eagles
3-3
6
(9)
6
(12)
12
(15)
9
(11)
9
(13)
6
(7)
13
(16)
10
(19)
Rank Team ESPN MMQB NFL SBN SpNws Yahoo CBS USA
9
(13)
Steelers
3-2-1
9
(12)
7
(11)
8
(12)
10
(16)
8
(12)
11
(14)
7
(12)
7
(11)
10
(7)
Bengals
4-2
7
(6)
10
(8)
10
(7)
8
(4)
11
(6)
12
(11)
10
(5)
8
(7)
11
(14)
Packers
3-2-1
14
(13)
8
(8)
13
(13)
13
(15)
13
(14)
14
(12)
14
(19)
12
(15)
11
(5)
Panthers
3-2
13
(8)
13
(6)
9
(5)
14
(5)
10
(5)
8
(5)
15
(6)
13
(6)
13
(6)
Jaguars
3-3
11
(5)
11
(5)
15
(6)
15
(7)
18
(7)
10
(8)
17
(9)
21
(8)
14
(8)
Bears
3-2
12
(7)
18
(13)
11
(8)
12
(8)
15
(8)
13
(9)
12
(3)
15
(9)
15
(16)
Dolphins
4-2
15
(16)
14
(17)
19
(20)
11
(13)
14
(17)
16
(18)
11
(15)
14
(16)
16
(17)
Redskins
3-2
16
(17)
19
(19)
16
(18)
16
(19)
12
(15)
15
(15)
9
(14)
11
(14)
Rank Team ESPN MMQB NFL SBN SpNws Yahoo CBS USA
17
(24)
Cowboys
3-3
20
(25)
15
(20)
14
(23)
21
(28)
17
(22)
20
(23)
16
(21)
19
(26)
18
(20)
Seahawks
3-3
17
(20)
21
(21)
18
(21)
18
(20)
16
(20)
19
(21)
19
(22)
17
(25)
19
(22)
Falcons
2-4
19
(19)
15
(16)
23
(24)
23
(25)
19
(23)
24
(24)
23
(28)
16
(21)
20
(20)
Texans
3-3
21
(24)
17
(15)
21
(22)
20
(26)
21
(27)
25
(22)
20
(17)
18
(20)
21
(15)
Titans
3-3
18
(15)
22
(22)
24
(14)
17
(14)
23
(16)
23
(19)
18
(8)
24
(17)
22
(19)
Lions
2-3
23
(23)
20
(18)
17
(17)
24
(22)
22
(26)
18
(17)
21
(18)
23
(23)
23
(26)
Jets
3-3
25
(27)
23
(26)
22
(25)
22
(24)
20
(24)
17
(25)
22
(26)
22
(22)
23
(18)
Browns
2-3-1
22
(18)
24
(23)
20
(16)
19
(17)
25
(19)
22
(20)
24
(20)
20
(13)
Rank Team ESPN MMQB NFL SBN SpNws Yahoo CBS USA
25
(22)
Buccaneers
2-3
26
(22)
25
(25)
25
(19)
26
(18)
26
(21)
21
(16)
25
(23)
26
(18)
26
(25)
Broncos
2-4
24
(21)
26
(27)
26
(26)
27
(21)
24
(18)
26
(26)
28
(27)
25
(24)
27
(27)
Colts
1-5
27
(26)
28
(28)
29
(29)
28
(23)
30
(29)
30
(29)
26
(24)
27
(27)
28
(29)
Bills
2-4
28
(29)
30
(29)
28
(28)
29
(30)
27
(25)
27
(28)
27
(25)
28
(28)
29
(28)
Giants
1-5
29
(28)
27
(24)
27
(27)
30
(29)
29
(28)
29
(27)
31
(30)
31
(29)
30
(31)
49ers
1-5
30
(30)
29
(31)
31
(32)
25
(27)
28
(31)
28
(32)
29
(32)
30
(32)
31
(32)
Cardinals
1-5
31
(32)
31
(32)
30
(30)
31
(32)
31
(30)
32
(31)
32
(31)
29
(31)
32
(30)
Raiders
1-5
32
(31)
32
(30)
32
(31)
32
(31)
32
(32)
31
(30)
30
(29)
32
(30)
Numbers in parentheses are the previous week's ranking.
The left-hand column is the aggregate of all rankings.
ESPN and MMQB rankings are weighted 2.5 times all others.
Other questions?
Read the True Power Rankings Methodology

Here's what the pundits we're tracking said about the Chiefs this week:

ESPN (3rd from 2nd)

Playoff chances: 95.2 percent. The Chiefs have the highest playoff odds of any AFC team because of their offense. Kansas City ranks in the top five in points per game, yards per play, pass yards per attempt and Total QBR. The best news is that the bulk of the heavy lifting is done, as the Chiefs have the fourth-easiest remaining strength of schedule according to FPI.

MMQB (4th from 2nd)

It’s understandable that the Chiefs would fall behind the Patriots in these rankings, but we also shouldn’t kill them for a 3-point loss in New England. It looks like our voters didn't.

NFL.com (Elliot Harrison - 3rd from 2nd)

By the time you finish reading the opening sentence of this Chiefs blurb, Tyreek Hill will have caught an underthrown ball on a post route, then headed for the corner and turned said corner in a manner we haven't seen since Bo. No, not Bo Scarbrough. That Bo. Kansas City went toe to toe with the Patriots in front of New England's nutso crowd, and Patrick Mahomes kept pace with Tom Brady and the New England offense. Yet, in the end, a suspect defense and the rulebook ruled the day. Breeland Speaks' non-sack of Brady was clearly a case of a pass rusher not wanting to get the Clay Matthews treatment from the officials. The sad part is, had Speaks tackled Brady, it would've been his second career sack -- and, quite possibly, it would have allowed K.C. to win the game.

SBNation (Rebecca Toback - 3rd from 2nd)

The Chiefs fought hard and almost staged an impressive comeback. But you can never count out Tom Brady, and he proved to be the guy you want leading a game-winning fourth-quarter drive.

Sporting News (Vinnie Iyer - 4th from 2nd)

Patrick Mahomes had an imperfect night in New England and was lifted by Kareem Hunt, but given how poor the defense keeps playing, the Chiefs still have little margin for offensive error.

Yahoo! Sports (Frank Schwab - 2nd from 2nd)

I won’t move the Chiefs down for a few reasons: There’s no shame in a last-play loss at New England, and their entire body of work is still very impressive. I can’t imagine someone watching the Chiefs play Sunday night and thinking less of them afterward. They were good, the Patriots were just slightly better at home.

CBS Sports (Pete Prisco - 4th from 2nd)

The defense is historically bad right now. That has to change - or else. Even Patrick Mahomes won't be able to overcome that.

USA Today (Nate Davis - 4th from 2nd)

As long as Eric Berry, Justin Houston are out, this defense — it's allowed 500 yards three times — will continue to put Patrick Mahomes and Co. in tough spots.

Other power rankings we noticed this week:

Bleeding Green Nation (Brandon Lee Gowton — 3rd from 1st) For as good as the Chiefs’ offense is, their defense has some real issues.

NJ.com (Joe Giglio — 3rd from 2nd) There’s little reason for the Chiefs to be discouraged by Sunday night’s loss in New England. Patrick Mahomes showed me more in defeat than he has in any win. This offense is historically good, and the defense can only get better with health from Eric Berry and Justin Houston.

Washington Post (Mark Maske — 4th from 2nd) QB Patrick Mahomes is great and the offense was clicking with a 31-point second half Sunday night at New England. But the defense failed to do its part and the Chiefs lost the first 43-40 game in NFL history. Getting injured standouts Justin Houston and Eric Berry back will help. But there are no excuses. The Chiefs simply must play better on defense with the players they have.

NESN.com (Joshua Schrock — 3rd from 1st) Mahomes and Co. suffered their first loss of the season, but it was a valiant effort that showed they belong in the same conversation with the Patriots atop the AFC. The conference still could run through Arrowhead Stadium.

Jaguars.com (John Oehser — 2nd from 1st) A worthy No. 2 that could be No. 1 again soon

Mile High Report (Pete Baron — 2nd from 2nd) I predicted 42-43 Patriots victory, so this came as no surprise. I can’t knock the Chiefs down for losing on the last drive of the game in Foxboro. 30 seconds is too much time to leave Brady, much less 3 minutes. The Chiefs are for real, and honestly, they very well might be in the Super Bowl. They aren’t your dad’s Chiefs anymore.


After their victory on Sunday night, the Patriots gained two positions in our aggregated pundit rankings, while the Chiefs dropped one spot. The national writers are behaving exactly as you would expect — essentially forgiving the Patriots for their early losses.

It will certainly be interesting to see how the number-crunchers evaluate the relationship between the Chiefs and Patriots when we look at Arrowhead Pride True Power Rankings on Wednesday.

The pundits now see the Chiefs at the second-best team in the AFC — and with their 4-2 record and a lopsided win against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, the pundits now think the Los Angeles Chargers are right on their heels; the pundits moved the Chargers up five positions this week.

The Denver Broncos fell another spot, and the Oakland Raiders have now fallen to 32nd in the estimation of the writers. Over in Denver, Mile High Report’s Pete Baron prefaced his power rankings with a plea for the firing of head coach Vance Joseph, and the return of Mike Shanahan. This seems unlikely six weeks into the season — but then again, I would have considered the return of Jeff Allen to the Chiefs roster as unlikely, too.

Elsewhere, the Dallas Cowboys moved into the middle of the pack, moving up seven spots after their 40-7 drubbing of the Jacksonville Jaguars — who dropped seven positions in the rankings. The Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears and Tennessee Titans all fell six places after losses on Sunday.

On Wednesday, we’ll fold in the Week 7 data from the number-crunchers, and bring you our True Power Rankings! Don’t forget to check it out!