Tuesday’s NFL power rankings are out. Following the Kansas City Chiefs’ 30-6 win over the Denver Broncos — the team’s most lopsided win so far — you would expect the Chiefs to rise a bit in the rankings. And in most, they did. But a few writers see Patrick Mahomes’ dislocated ankle as a big problem for the team.
Here’s a sampling:
(down from 7)
Deep exhale, Chiefs fans. We’re told Patrick Mahomes avoided the kind of major knee injury that would have ended his (and the Chiefs’) season. Mahomes missing time isn’t great news, obviously, but considering how grim things appeared as the MVP writhed on the turf at Mile High last Thursday, this feels like a blessing. As for the game itself, credit the Chiefs for keeping it together in the midst of all that uncertainty. And let’s give some love to the beleaguered defense, which held Denver to 205 yards and piled up eight sacks of the Joe Flacco statue the Broncos use as their starting quarterback. Spinning forward in a Matt Moore world, Kansas City has home games against the Packers and Vikings, followed by road games against the Titans and Chargers before a Week 12 bye. The Chiefs aren’t constructed to thrive without their star QB the way the Saints have, but they’ll have to find a way to survive. — Dan Hanzus
(up from 6)
The injury to Patrick Mahomes is an obstacle the Chiefs weren’t counting on, but given that he’s going to return well before the playoffs, the Chiefs can still realize their goal of reaching and winning the Super Bowl. That task is going to be more difficult than it otherwise might have been and will depend greatly on how the Chiefs fare until Mahomes is back. But the Chiefs should still win the AFC West, and earning a first-round playoff bye also isn’t out of the question. With Mahomes back in their lineup, they’ll be a tough out in the postseason. — Adam Teicher
(unchanged from 6)
Luckily the win was in hand by the time Patrick Mahomes went down, and Matt Moore looked serviceable in relief. All reports leaving KC on the knee are positive, and all is not lost for the Chiefs. Next week might be, but Mahomes should be back soon.
(unchanged from 12)
They will find out for while what it’s like to be without Patrick Mahomes, who dislocated his kneecap. It’s Matt Moore time for now, starting with a tough Sunday night game against the Packers. — Pete Prisco
(up from 9)
There’s no real reason to rush Patrick Mahomes back. The rest of the AFC West is awful; nobody is going to challenge the Chiefs no matter who is playing quarterback. There’s no realistic chance the Chiefs get the No. 1 seed in the AFC anymore. The only thought now should be getting Mahomes healthy and figuring out how to peak in January. — Frank Schawb
(up from 7)
The Chiefs will be without Patrick Mahomes for a while, but they regained much-needed defensive confidence for the long haul with the big blowout win in Denver. Now they’ll need to rely on Matt Moore at home to help them beat the two teams right above them in these rankings. — Vinnie Iyer
(down from 6)
Welp ... it appears season is in hands of a pair of Miami castoffs (Matt Moore and, soon, Chad Henne) and Vandy’s undrafted Kyle Shurmur. — Nate Davis
(up from 12)
The news about Patrick Mahomes’s knee injury wasn’t as bad as it could have been, given the optimism that he will return to play this season. But Mahomes and the Chiefs should be very careful. His future is too bright and he is too indispensable to the franchise and the league to take any unnecessary risks in pursuit of short-term gains. For now, Matt Moore takes over at QB and the Chiefs try to hold things together. — Mark Maske
(down from 6)
Buying: Defensive Help
In the immediate aftermath of the Patrick Mahomes injury, there were two dozen thought pieces speculating on Eli Manning, Cam Newton, Marcus Mariota, and other QBs. It makes sense since Matt Moore was out of football last year, but Andy Reid has to know he’s sitting in prime position in the AFC West to ride it out with his backup.
Reid also surely knows there currently remains a sizable gap between his 2019 roster and the Pats, even if Patty Melt returns to full strength. The demolishing of Denver was encouraging, but the chasm between Tom Brady and Joe Flacco looks a lot like the Grand Canyon. There were rumors about Patrick Peterson last year, and adding talent to the front seven may do wonders for the back end.
NFL twitter in a nutshell:— Steven Ruiz (@theStevenRuiz) October 18, 2019
Panthers don't sneak Cam Newton (w/ banged up foot) on fourth and short, get killed for it.
Chiefs sneak Pat Mahomes (w/ banged up ankle) on fourth and short, get killed for it.
(unchanged from 7)
The good news is that Patrick Mahomes should only miss a few weeks. The bad news is that KC has two tough games coming up: vs. GB and vs. MIN. — Brandon Lee Gowton