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NFL true power rankings for Week 1: Chiefs land in middle of the pack

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Here’s our first weekly roundup (and aggregation) of NFL power rankings

Finally! The regular season is here! And as promised, here is the first weekly roundup and aggregation of NFL Power Rankings.

If you already read our explanation of how we’ll handle power rankings this season, you already have a pretty good idea of how this will go. If you didn’t, please give it a look.

Before we begin, a couple of things to note:

  1. We are adding SBNation’s NFL Power Rankings to the roundup of pundit power rankings we’ll aggregate every week. SBNation didn’t do power rankings last season, but this year, SBNation writer Rebecca Toback will be doing one each week. We’re happy to include them.
  2. The preseason MMQB power rankings are not yet published. We expect them to be available tomorrow. This is unfortunate because the MMQB and ESPN power rankings are weighted more heavily in our calculations than those of individual writers. And even worse, we have reason to believe that MMQB’s poll might favor the Chiefs more than some of the others since we already know two MMQB writers are predicting the Chiefs will win the Super Bowl, and another thinks they’ll play in the game.

But because everybody else has already published their power rankings — and we know you’re anxious to see how the pundits rate the Kansas City Chiefs going into Week 1 — we’re going to go without the MMQB for this week only.

When the MMQB rankings are published, we’ll load them into our model, and you’ll see them in next week’s regular pundit roundup on Tuesday. And also, this week only, the rankings in parentheses are those from each ranking going into Week 17 last year.

Pundit Power Rankings for Week 1

Chiefs AFC West Teams Other AFC Teams

Rank Team ESPN MMQB NFL SBN SpNws Yahoo CBS
1
(5)
Eagles
0-0
1
(5)
--
(7)
1
(6)
1
(--)
5
(4)
4
(4)
5
(3)
2
(1)
Patriots
0-0
2
(1)
--
(1)
5
(1)
3
(--)
4
(1)
3
(1)
3
(1)
3
(3)
Vikings
0-0
6
(3)
--
(3)
4
(2)
2
(--)
2
(3)
1
(5)
6
(6)
3
(4)
Rams
0-0
4
(4)
--
(5)
2
(4)
4
(--)
3
(5)
2
(2)
9
(7)
5
(5)
Saints
0-0
5
(6)
--
(4)
3
(5)
8
(--)
1
(6)
5
(6)
7
(4)
6
(2)
Steelers
0-0
3
(2)
--
(2)
7
(3)
6
(--)
9
(2)
8
(3)
8
(2)
7
(21)
Packers
0-0
8
(21)
--
(24)
9
(22)
7
(--)
8
(19)
7
(21)
1
(18)
8
(8)
Jaguars
0-0
12
(9)
--
(9)
6
(8)
5
(--)
7
(8)
6
(8)
2
(8)
Rank Team ESPN MMQB NFL SpNews SBN Yahoo CBS
9
(10)
Falcons
0-0
7
(11)
--
(8)
8
(11)
9
(--)
10
(11)
10
(12)
4
(12)
10
(13)
Chargers
0-0
9
(12)
--
(12)
10
(12)
10
(--)
6
(13)
9
(10)
10
(15)
11
(7)
Panthers
0-0
11
(7)
--
(6)
11
(7)
11
(--)
12
(7)
11
(7)
13
(5)
12
(11)
Ravens
0-0
10
(10)
--
(13)
16
(10)
17
(--)
21
(9)
13
(11)
15
(9)
13
(29)
Texans
0-0
16
(25)
--
(28)
12
(31)
16
(--)
14
(29)
15
(29)
11
(29)
14
(9)
Chiefs
0-0
14
(8)
--
(10)
17
(9)
14
(--)
16
(10)
12
(9)
17
(10)
15
(17)
Titans
0-0
17
(17)
--
(18)
13
(20)
15
(--)
13
(17)
17
(17)
16
(16)
16
(18)
49ers
0-0
15
(19)
--
(15)
19
(15)
12
(--)
11
(21)
16
(19)
22
(22)
Rank Team ESPN MMQB NFL SBN SpNews Yahoo CBS
17
(14)
Cowboys
0-0
13
(16)
--
(14)
22
(14)
22
(--)
15
(15)
14
(14)
20
(13)
18
(15)
Lions
0-0
19
(14)
--
(16)
18
(16)
20
(--)
20
(14)
19
(16)
19
(17)
18
(25)
Bears
0-0
21
(28)
--
(26)
15
(23)
13
(--)
19
(24)
20
(25)
24
(26)
20
(27)
Broncos
0-0
26
(29)
--
(27)
20
(27)
21
(--)
22
(27)
18
(24)
12
(23)
21
(12)
Seahawks
0-0
18
(13)
--
(11)
27
(13)
24
(--)
18
(12)
21
(13)
25
(11)
22
(30)
Giants
0-0
24
(30)
--
(30)
14
(30)
18
(--)
17
(31)
24
(31)
28
(31)
23
(23)
Bengals
0-0
25
(22)
--
(22)
21
(24)
19
(--)
27
(25)
22
(26)
14
(25)
24
(22)
Raiders
0-0
23
(20)
--
(23)
24
(21)
30
(--)
23
(22)
25
(23)
18
(20)
Rank Team ESPN MMQB NFL SBN SpNews Yahoo CBS
25
(19)
Redskins
0-0
22
(18)
--
(19)
26
(18)
25
(--)
30
(18)
23
(18)
23
(21)
26
(30)
Colts
0-0
20
(31)
--
(31)
32
(29)
23
(--)
24
(30)
30
(30)
30
(30)
27
(20)
Cardinals
0-0
27
(23)
--
(20)
25
(19)
26
(--)
28
(20)
28
(20)
27
(19)
28
(24)
Dolphins
0-0
29
(24)
--
(25)
23
(25)
31
(--)
31
(23)
26
(22)
21
(24)
29
(25)
Buccaneers
0-0
28
(27)
--
(21)
28
(26)
29
(--)
32
(28)
27
(28)
26
(28)
30
(32)
Browns
0-0
30
(32)
--
(32)
30
(32)
28
(--)
25
(32)
32
(32)
29
(32)
31
(28)
Jets
0-0
31
(26)
--
(29)
29
(28)
27
(--)
26
(26)
29
(27)
31
(27)
32
(16)
Bills
0-0
32
(15)
--
(17)
31
(17)
32
(--)
29
(16)
31
(15)
32
(14)
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.

Many Chiefs fans are convinced that Patrick Mahomes will make the difference, and the team will contend for the Super Bowl this season. But as you can see here, this view isn’t largely shared by these NFL pundits, whose comments about the Chiefs were remarkably consistent.

The Chiefs have an NFL true power ranking (pundits only) of 14th heading into the 2018 season.

ESPN - Chiefs ranked No. 14

It’s a season of change for the Chiefs, who for the first time in their 58-season history are all-in on a young quarterback. They’ll go as far as Patrick Mahomes, who is long on potential but short on experience in his first season as a starter, can take them. The Chiefs tried to surround him with a solid supporting cast by signing wide receiver Sammy Watkins. He joins tight end Travis Kelce, wide receiver Tyreek Hill and running back Kareem Hunt to give the Chiefs a nice variety of offensive threats. The rest of the 53-man roster, however, isn’t as loaded with talent. Sixth-round draft picks from smaller schools aren’t supposed to push for playing time so quickly. But CB Tremon Smith, from Central Arkansas, is getting a long look as a backup, in part because the depth chart is thin. He’s the fourth cornerback, and he’ll get some playing time if he stays in that spot. Smith is also working as the primary kick and punt returner, though Tyreek Hill will return punts when the regular season begins.

NFL.com (Elliot Harrison) - Chiefs ranked No. 17

So, you might have heard that the offense is going to be high-flyin’ and the defense is going to suck. I am not here to dispel that notion. The secondary needed more time to play together in the preseason. Maybe not in the Bears game, though. Whoa, that was ugly. Nothing about Patrick Mahomes is. He will suffer through a few hiccups, but these Chiefs should move the ball like the Green-Priest-Gonzalez group from the early 2000s.

SBNation (Rebecca Toback) - Chiefs ranked No. 16

Hopes are high for the Chiefs and new starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who has one of the biggest arms in the league​. There are a lot of playmakers in Kansas City, but the Chiefs’ problem may be the opposite of the Bears: The Kansas City defense leaves a lot to be desired heading into the season.

Sporting News (Vinnie Iyer) - Chiefs ranked No. 14

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes can throw the ball through a barn, so the big plays will be there. So will the inconsistency and mistakes. The Chiefs also no longer have an impact defense to facilitate winning for the second-year QB.

Yahoo! Sports (Frank Schwab) - Chiefs ranked No. 12

All eyes will be on Patrick Mahomes, but safety Eric Berry’s return is crucial as well The defense struggled after he tore his Achilles in last season’s opener, and the defense might be pretty bad this season if he doesn’t rebound.

CBS Sports (Pete Prisco) - Chiefs ranked No. 17

It’s all about Patrick Mahomes and how he fares in his first year as the starter. I think he will be fine, but I worry about the defense.

So despite the presence of Patrick Mahomes, these pundits expect the Chiefs to drop five spots (on average) from last year. But the Chiefs are hardly the team they expect to have the biggest dropoff.

The Buffalo Bills — ranked 32nd in three of the rankings — averaged a 15-place drop compared to where they were in Week 17 last year. The Seattle Seahawks averaged a drop of nine spots.

On the other hand, the pundits expect both the Houston Texans and Green Bay Packers to do much better; the Texans average ranking increases by 16, and the Packers by 14.

The New York Giants show an average rise of eight spots compared to 2017’s final week.

From this beginning, it’s going to be fun to watch how things change after the first week’s games are played.

And remember... on Wednesdays starting after Week 2 games, we’ll also add in rankings from the number crunchers and see how that changes things as the season progresses.