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Week 7 NFL Power Rankings: Chiefs take their medicine after another loss

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News flash: two straight losses at home tend to damage a team’s reputation with NFL writers

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NFL: OCT 13 Texans at Chiefs Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In the short week before the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Denver Broncos on Thursday night, Tuesday’s NFL power rankings were overtaken by other news. Unsurprisingly, national reporters downgraded the Chiefs in their rankings after their second straight home loss to the Houston Texans — some more than others.

Here’s a sampling:


NFL.com: 7

(down from 4)

Should we be worried about the Chiefs? Earlier this season, with the defense stout and Patrick Mahomes playing at a legendary level, Kansas City looked unstoppable. But in the past two weeks? The Chiefs have been eminently beatable in losses to the Colts and Texans. Mahomes’ tender ankle was giving him problems again on Sunday, but the biggest concern is a defense that couldn’t get a stop. And I don’t mean that figuratively: Houston never punted as it piled up 472 yards of total offense in Arrowhead. This defense badly misses Chris Jones, who was out with a groin injury, and we haven’t seen anyone else on the unit step up to stop the bleeding. Mahomes won’t always be perfect, but right now, the Chiefs aren’t good enough to win when he’s off his game. — Dan Hanzus


ESPN: 6

(down from 3)

The Chiefs have allowed at least 180 rushing yards for a staggering four straight games. They had 20:12 time of possession on Sunday against the Texans, their lowest total ever for a home game. The Texans had 83 plays compared to 47 for the Chiefs. Kansas City has to be perfect on offense to overcome these numbers and hasn’t been anything close to that the past two weeks Adam Teicher


Sports Illustrated MMQB: 6

(down from 4)

Kansas City’s defense needs to do a better job getting off the field, as the Texans nearly doubled the Chiefs’ time of possession and logged 15 more first downs. Mahomes and the offense should be fine, but they can’t do much from the sidelines.


CBSSports.com: 12

(down from 6)

What has happened to this team? It’s the same story from a year ago. The defense just isn’t good enough. — Pete Prisco


Yahoo! Sports: 9

(down from 3)

The NFL isn’t a running league anymore. However, if you are absolutely incapable of stopping the run, you will struggle. Seeing Marlon Mack pound out yards in Week 5 wasn’t so bad. But Carlos Hyde? This is a problem in Kansas City. — Frank Schawb


The Sporting News: 7

(down from 5)

When it’s not getting a few sacks and takeaways, the Chiefs’ defense is a big problem, more against the run but still plenty against the pass. Patrick Mahomes is being asked to be consistently magical in a one-dimensional attack with limited possessions. That’s asking too much, especially when he’s hurting. — Vinnie Iyer


USA Today: 6

(down from 3)

Not only are they allowing nearly 200 rush yards per game over last month, no defense has allowed more first downs. What’s Mahomes supposed to do? Nate Davis


The Washington Post: 12

(down from 7)

The return of speedy WR Tyreek Hill to the lineup gave the Kansas City offense a big-play boost against the Texans. But there are issues right now, and no one seems particularly afraid to face the Chiefs at this point. — Mark Maske


Mile High Report: 6

(down from 3)

This may be a bit of an overreaction after two big losses, but Kansas City has little chance to now catch the Patriots and that run defense makes Charmin look tough. — Just_JoRo


Bleeding Green Nation: 7

(down from 3)

The Chiefs have now dropped two straight games at Arrowhead Stadium. Uncharacteristic. Patrick Mahomes doesn’t seem 100%. — Brandon Lee Gowton