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Week 13 NFL Pundit Power Rankings: Chiefs stay in third place

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Since the Chiefs and Rams had the week off, it’s hardly a surprise. But you should never dismiss a national writer’s potential to be dumb anyway.

Kansas City Chiefs vs Oakland Raiders Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The national writers have spoken, and the Kansas City Chiefs still occupy third place in our aggregated Week 13 Pundit Power Rankings. Not a lot of big changes this week — but who knew that NFL.com writer Elliot Harrison was raised as a Chiefs fan?

Pundit Power Rankings for Week 13

Chiefs AFC West Teams Other AFC Teams

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

The Chiefs, who have won 19 of their past 20 games against AFC West opponents, have three divisional games remaining. They also have a game against the Ravens at Arrowhead Stadium, where the Chiefs are 5-0 with an average margin of victory of 16.2 points. That leaves a road game against the Seahawks, who have a rushing attack that could give the Chiefs fits.

MMQB (3rd from 3rd)

The Chiefs are still on top of the AFC, and gained a little cushion in their quest for a first-round bye thanks to Pittsburgh’s loss. Still, they want the top seed and would lose the tiebreaker to New England. Now they have Oakland after a bye week to get back in the win column, and you’ll hear all week about Andy Reid’s record coming out of the bye.

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

My dad was a fan of the Dallas Texans and then, after Lamar Hunt moved them out of Texas to K.C., a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs. So if you're wondering how last Monday night's classic stacks up in Chiefs history, not to worry; while there is much ground to cover, I've got a list to digest:

1) 1969 AFL Championship Game: Chiefs 17, Oakland Raiders 7. To get to Super Bowl IV, the Chiefs had to beat the Raiders, AFL stalwarts and Western Divisional rivals. Oakland was the premier team in the AFL that season under first-year head coach John Madden.

2) Super Bowl IV: Chiefs 23, Vikings 7. Has to be here. Kansas City proved its league was every bit as strong as the NFL by adding an exclamation point to the Jets' win over the older league the year prior.

3) 1993 AFC Divisional Playoffs: Chiefs 28, Oilers 20. While the wild-card game that year (a 27-24 overtime win against the Steelers) was the better contest, this one featured Joe Montana leading Kansas City to an upset win over the Super Bowl-favorite Oilers.

4) 1971 Divisional Playoffs: Dolphins 27, Chiefs 24 (OT). I know it was a loss, yet -- like the "The Ice Bowl" did for the Packers and Cowboys -- this game featured the character of both teams. It took six quarters to finish and is still the longest game in NFL history. Chiefs running back Ed Podolak gained 350 all-purpose yards that day!

5) Chiefs-Rams two Mondays ago. This narrowly edges out Young vs. Montana in 1994, as well as Montana's nail-biter of a win over John Elway on Monday night later that same season. Also of note is the 1962 AFL Championship Game, which also spilled into OT. Then there's the 1986 regular-season finale, during which K.C. scored all of its points on special teams to make the playoffs. Oh, and how about Dante Hall beating the Broncos on a 93-yard punt return in 2003? All great.

SBNation (Rebecca Toback - 3rd from 3rd)

The Saints, Rams, and Chiefs are still the NFL’s top three teams, but there’s a new team in the top five behind them as the Bears keep proving their legitimacy.

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

The Chiefs enjoyed their bye in Week 12 and should be a little healthier defensively to support and complement their offensive juggernaut. There’s no time to let up with the Patriots still on their heels.

Yahoo! Sports (Frank Schwab - 3rd from 3rd)

It’s tough to count on a player returning from injury and being his old self, especially for someone who hasn’t even practiced yet this season. But safety Eric Berry is a special player. He’s supposed to practice this week and presumably return sometime in December. It’s possible he’s just not the same player, at least for the rest of this season. But if he is? That changes things for Kansas City.

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

They come off their bye needing to tighten up the defense some. Patrick Mahomes should have a field day this week against the Raiders.

USA Today (Nate Davis - 3rd from 3rd)

Remaining schedule is a Raiders sandwich with Ravens, Chargers and Seahawks in between. KC's path to No. 1 seed likely to be very bumpy.

Other power rankings we noticed this week:

Washington Post (Mark Maske — 3rd from 4th) The Chiefs had their bye week to recover from their warp-speed loss to the Rams. They should be able to get back into the win column Sunday, when they take on the Raiders in Oakland for the first of their two remaining games against their lowly divisional opponent.

Bleeding Green Nation (Brandon Lee Gowton — 3rd from 3rd) Andy Reid’s post-bye week magic will likely continue as KC is set to play Oakland.

NBC Sports (Scott Bair — 3rd from 2nd) Andy Reid had a bye week to figure out how to beat the Raiders. Chiefs might score 60.

NESN.com (Joshua Schrock — 3rd from 3rd) The Chiefs exit their bye to face the Oakland Raiders, so they effectively have two byes. Don’t look now, but the New England Patriots are just one game back of KC in the AFC playoff picture and own the tiebreaker by virtue of their Week 6 win, so the Chiefs can’t afford a slip up against Oakland.


With two of the top three teams on byes in Week 12, it shouldn’t be a big surprise that little has changed from last week. The Pittsburgh Steelers dropped a bit after their loss to the Denver Broncos, the Chicago Bears continued to edge up with another win (with Chase Daniel at quarterback, no less) but otherwise there is little to discuss in the top tier of teams, which are all the same as last week — albeit with a little bit of shuffling.

In the bottom tier, the Cleveland Browns rose into mediocrity, while the Jacksonville Jaguars fell into despair.

The only really interesting thing is the disagreement about the Broncos. The writers all thought that Denver deserved a boost after narrowly defeating the Steelers, but USA Today’s Nate Davis might have gone a bit overboard by pushing them up 10 spots to number 11. Why? The answer follows.

Snark of the week

I’m pretty sure this week’s winner wasn’t intended as snark on its face — well, maybe if you read it on a Chiefs site, it is snark — but I thought Elliot Harrison’s take on the Broncos-Steelers game on NFL.com was spot-on. Maybe he just softened me up by listing a bunch of amazing Chiefs games in his comments about our favorite team.

What an odd way for the Broncos to weave their way back into the AFC wild-card chase. Denver patched together a win Sunday over a Super Bowl contender while putting forth an exhibit of how timely plays, often hidden in the box score, can win games. The Steelers rolled up more than 500 yards of offense -- including 452 through the air from their quarterback -- held the football for 35 minutes, and still lost. The Broncos pulled ahead by converting Pittsburgh’s turnovers into touchdowns, including a third-quarter drive with an exchange rate of 37 seconds from interception to score. Otherwise, the offense muddled around most of the day. Then Vance Joseph and Co. won when their nose tackle intercepted a Hall of Fame quarterback. They’ll take it.

Join us on Wednesday, and we’ll do our usual thing: collect data from the number-crunchers, mix it all together and give you the Week 13 Arrowhead Pride True Power Rankings.