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Week 11 Pundit Power Rankings: Chiefs rise to second

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The Chiefs return to the second spot in our weekly tabulation of NFL pundit power rankings.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The pundits weren’t terribly impressed when the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Arizona Cardinals 26-14 at Arrowhead on Sunday — but thanks to the New England Patriots losing to the Tennessee Titans 34-10 over the weekend, the Chiefs returned to second place in our weekly aggregation of pundit power rankings.

Pundit Power Rankings for Week 11

Chiefs AFC West Teams Other AFC Teams

Rank Team ESPN MMQB NFL SBN SpNws Yahoo CBS USA
1
(1)
Saints
8-1
1
(1)
1
(1)
1
(1)
1
(1)
1
(1)
2
(2)
1
(1)
1
(1)
2
(4)
Chiefs
9-1
2
(2)
2
(4)
2
(3)
2
(4)
2
(3)
1
(1)
3
(4)
2
(4)
3
(3)
Rams
9-1
3
(3)
2
(3)
3
(4)
3
(2)
3
(4)
3
(3)
2
(3)
3
(2)
4
(7)
Steelers
6-2-1
5
(7)
4
(6)
6
(7)
5
(6)
4
(6)
5
(7)
6
(6)
4
(6)
5
(5)
Chargers
7-2
4
(5)
7
(7)
4
(5)
4
(5)
5
(5)
4
(5)
4
(5)
5
(5)
6
(2)
Patriots
7-3
6
(4)
5
(2)
5
(2)
6
(3)
6
(2)
6
(4)
5
(2)
6
(3)
7
(8)
Vikings
5-3-1
8
(8)
6
(8)
8
(8)
11
(11)
7
(8)
7
(8)
7
(8)
7
(8)
8
(6)
Panthers
6-3
9
(6)
9
(5)
7
(6)
10
(7)
8
(7)
9
(6)
10
(7)
10
(7)
Rank Team ESPN MMQB NFL SBN SpNws Yahoo CBS USA
9
(11)
Bears
6-3
7
(10)
13
(13)
9
(9)
7
(8)
10
(10)
8
(10)
8
(10)
8
(12)
10
(10)
Texans
6-3
10
(11)
12
(10)
10
(10)
8
(9)
9
(9)
10
(11)
9
(9)
12
(13)
11
(13)
Packers
4-4-1
11
(13)
8
(11)
11
(15)
12
(15)
13
(16)
11
(12)
13
(13)
13
(15)
12
(15)
Redskins
6-3
12
(14)
15
(16)
13
(14)
9
(12)
11
(14)
12
(15)
11
(15)
9
(14)
13
(19)
Titans
5-4
14
(20)
11
(19)
14
(18)
13
(18)
12
(19)
13
(18)
12
(19)
11
(19)
14
(9)
Eagles
4-5
13
(9)
10
(9)
19
(13)
16
(10)
15
(11)
15
(9)
17
(12)
17
(9)
15
(21)
Cowboys
4-5
19
(21)
15
(21)
17
(19)
19
(26)
17
(21)
14
(23)
16
(22)
16
(21)
16
(17)
Seahawks
4-5
15
(17)
17
(15)
15
(17)
20
(19)
20
(17)
16
(16)
21
(18)
15
(17)
Rank Team ESPN MMQB NFL SBN SpNws Yahoo CBS USA
17
(14)
Falcons
4-5
18
(16)
14
(12)
16
(12)
21
(20)
16
(12)
20
(14)
18
(14)
19
(11)
18
(12)
Bengals
5-4
17
(12)
21
(14)
21
(16)
14
(13)
14
(13)
19
(13)
14
(11)
14
(10)
19
(16)
Ravens
4-5
16
(15)
18
(17)
12
(11)
17
(14)
21
(18)
17
(17)
20
(17)
20
(16)
20
(22)
Colts
4-5
20
(23)
19
(22)
18
(21)
15
(17)
19
(20)
18
(22)
15
(20)
21
(27)
21
(18)
Dolphins
5-5
21
(18)
23
(20)
23
(22)
18
(16)
18
(15)
21
(20)
19
(16)
22
(18)
22
(20)
Jaguars
3-6
22
(19)
20
(18)
25
(24)
25
(23)
23
(22)
22
(19)
26
(25)
24
(20)
23
(27)
Browns
3-6-1
25
(26)
25
(29)
22
(26)
23
(28)
22
(27)
24
(27)
23
(27)
18
(24)
24
(24)
Broncos
3-6
23
(24)
24
(24)
20
(20)
22
(22)
26
(26)
26
(26)
22
(23)
27
(26)
Rank Team ESPN MMQB NFL SBN SpNws Yahoo CBS USA
25
(23)
Lions
3-6
24
(22)
22
(23)
24
(23)
24
(21)
24
(23)
23
(21)
27
(21)
28
(22)
26
(25)
Buccaneers
3-6
26
(25)
26
(25)
26
(25)
26
(24)
25
(24)
25
(25)
25
(24)
23
(23)
27
(31)
Bills
3-7
27
(31)
30
(31)
28
(31)
27
(31)
27
(30)
28
(31)
24
(30)
25
(31)
28
(30)
Giants
2-7
29
(29)
27
(30)
27
(30)
29
(30)
30
(31)
27
(30)
28
(32)
29
(30)
29
(26)
Jets
3-7
28
(27)
31
(26)
31
(27)
28
(25)
28
(25)
30
(24)
31
(26)
26
(25)
30
(29)
Cardinals
2-7
31
(30)
28
(28)
29
(28)
30
(29)
29
(29)
31
(29)
29
(28)
30
(28)
31
(28)
49ers
2-8
30
(28)
29
(27)
30
(29)
31
(27)
31
(28)
29
(28)
30
(29)
31
(29)
32
(32)
Raiders
1-8
32
(32)
32
(32)
32
(32)
32
(32)
32
(32)
32
(32)
32
(31)
32
(32)
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 (2nd from 2nd)

The Chiefs are tied for second with 31 sacks and a suddenly potent pass rush gives them reason for defensive optimism heading into next Monday night's showdown against the Rams in Mexico City. One edge rusher, Dee Ford, is having a career season, while the other, Justin Houston, returned Sunday against the Cardinals after missing the previous four games because of a sore hamstring. Lineman Chris Jones has at least one sack in each of the past six games.

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

Sunday's win against the Cardinals is the kind of performance you wanted to see from Kansas City. If you're thinking, No, I wanted Patrick Mahomes to launch five touchdown passes, well, let me convince you otherwise. We've seen this offense go all-out track team plenty this season. What was needed in K.C.? More plays from the defense. That's precisely what happened when Justin Houston came up with the clutch pick off a Josh Rosen screen pass. Discussing how he diagnosed the screen on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Houston said, "I just felt it." So often, when people watch games on TV, they think players see the same visuals they do. Actually, defending the screen pass is often based on feel: how quickly the offensive linemen peel off, or how the quarterback is set up. Houston snuffed it out -- and boy, was that a big play. The franchise linebacker set up Kansas City's offense in Cards territory in a one-score game. Spencer Ware paid off the turnover with points a few plays later, and the Chiefs were cruising to 9-1.

SBNation (Rebecca Toback - 2nd from 4th)

It should come as no surprise that the top three teams in this week’s power rankings are the Saints, Chiefs, and Rams. Each of these teams has one loss, they’ve all been dominating opponents week after week, and their offenses are proving that they can almost always win. The exception is when they play each other, as the Saints and Rams did in Week 9 and as the Chiefs and Rams will do in Week 11.

Sporting News (Vinnie Iyer - 2nd from 3rd)

The Chiefs proved they can win a gritty game when Patrick Mahomes and Kareem Hunt are not automatic. That bodes well for the tougher conditions in December and in the playoffs.

Yahoo! Sports (Frank Schwab - 1st from 1st)

Chiefs-Rams in Mexico City is going to be incredible.

CBS Sports (Pete Prisco - 3rd from 4th)

The defense is making strides, which it has to do. That will be key down the stretch.

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

Upcoming game against Rams shaping up as matchup of season. Mexico must be thrilled to import premier International Series contest in league history.

Other power rankings we noticed this week:

AtlantaFalcons.com (Matt Tabeek — 3rd from 4th) Not their most impressive performance, but a win nonetheless. Now it’s time for what could be a title game matchup vs. the Rams.

Jaguars.com (John Oehser — 1st from 1st) Stronger by the week.

NJ.com (Joe Giglio — 2nd from 1st) Final score prediction for Monday Night Football in Mexico City: Rams 41, Chiefs 40.

Mile High Report (Pete Baron — 2nd from 1st) Make no mistake, the Chiefs still won, but dare I say that the Broncos looked like a more dominant team ON THE ROAD against the Cardinals than the Chiefs did at home?

NBCSports.com (Scott Bair -- 3rd from 4th) Tyreek Hill scored a touchdown (again), and then bested everyone in the TD celebration game. His TV camera takeover was classic, even if ol’ man Reid didn’t like it. And big ups to the end-zone videographer for rolling with the punches there.

The Phinsider (Kevin Nogle — 2nd from 3rd) The New Orleans Saints move into the top spot in the rankings, and are probably playing the best football in the country right now. The only team that may be able to challenge that ascertation is the Kansas City Chiefs who look great in the AFC and could be 1a in the rankings.

Washington Post (Mark Maske — 2nd from 3rd) Patrick Mahomes has raised the expectations for himself so much that his 249-yard, two-TD, no-interception performance Sunday against the Cardinals seemed rather ordinary. The Chiefs hope to have WR Sammy Watkins back in the lineup for Monday night’s highly anticipated showdown with the Rams in Mexico City.


Just as we saw last week, the Chiefs’ Week 11 pundit ranking has less to do with what the Chiefs did than what other teams did. In the view of the pundits, the Chiefs did what they were supposed to do: they beat an inferior team at home. But the New Orleans Saints — already a near-consensus number one pick last week — walloped the Cincinnati Bengals even worse than the Chiefs did in Week 7. So the Chiefs basically had no chance to rise to the top spot this week.

But Kansas City rose to second because the Patriots lost by a large margin to an above-average team, and the Los Angeles Rams had a relatively narrow win against a below-average team. The way the pundits looked at it, the Rams did nothing to deserve rising above third, while the Patriots did plenty to drop out of second. So rather than being the odd team out — as they were last week — the Chiefs ended up being the odd team in.

Anyway... that’s my best guess on how the pundits puzzled out the teams in the top tier.

The pundits thought it was time for the Philadelphia Eagles to drop our of the top ten, and for the Chicago Bears to take their place. The bottom ten teams remained unchanged, and in the middle, the Titans were rewarded with the biggest rise of the week, moving up six places in the aggregated rankings.

Snark of the week

This week’s winning entry comes from Scott Bair of NBCSports.com, who revealed a secret wish of sportswriters — that they could somehow erase the public’s memory of previous predictions — when speaking of the Bengals:

Remember when we said the Bengals deserved our respect? You do? Well hear [sic] comes the Men In Black memory eraser. Zap.

By the way, Scott... it’s called a neuralyzer. And you should have been here for the Zeronian migration of 1968.

So did the Chiefs perform well enough in their Week 10 outing that they will remain in the top spot of the Week 11 Arrowhead Pride True Power Rankings? On Wednesday, we’ll fold in the data from the number-crunchers, and find out.