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Chiefs’ loss to Colts has big impact on Week 6 NFL power rankings

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The Sunday Night Football loss did what a primetime loss usually does: count for more among the national writers than it probably should

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Indianapolis Colts v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

The trench warfare didn’t last long, did it?

Despite my World War I analogy last week, there was significant movement in the NFL Power Rankings among the national writers. For some of them, the Kansas City Chiefs’ 19-13 loss to the Indianapolis Colts was clearly a big factor. Once again, we are reminded that losing a game in primetime counts for a lot more than losing one at noon.

Here’s a sampling:


NFL.com: 3

(down from 2)

The best offense in football looked anything but on Sunday night, managing just 13 points in an eye-opening loss to the Colts at Arrowhead. The Chiefs took a turn for the mortal when Patrick Mahomes aggravated an ankle injury after being stepped on by a teammate in the third quarter. The reigning MVP had a noticeable limp for the rest of the game and lacked the mobility that helps make him the game’s most dangerous talent. With the reigning MVP compromised, the rest of the Chiefs were unable to pick up the slack. The run game managed just 2.6 yards per carry, and the defense was unable to come up with a big stop, as the Colts ran the ball repeatedly in the final quarter. So ... is this game an aberration for the Chiefs, or is it a hint of more struggles to come? We imagine a lot of that depends on how quickly Mahomes heals up. — Dan Hanzus


ESPN: 3

(down from 2)

Tyreek Hill’s impact should grow as early as this Sunday’s game against the Texans. He returned to practice last week after missing four games with a collarbone and sternum injury and looked close to being ready for game action. If anyone’s return from an extended absence should be seamless, it is Hill’s. He missed offseason practice because of suspension but came back at camp like he hadn’t missed a day. While the Chiefs have developed receiving threats in his absence, don’t mistake who their No. 1 guy is. It’s Hill. Adam Teicher


Sports Illustrated MMQB: 4

(down from 1)

Patrick Mahomes’s lack of mobility against the Colts on Sunday Night Football exposed a leaky offensive line, and the defense got gashed on the ground all night. Houston will be a test for a team that looked uncharacteristically pedestrian on Sunday night.


CBSSports.com: 6

(down from 4)

All of a sudden that offense is an issue. Patrick Mahomes has been ordinary the past two weeks. With their defense, that’s not a good thing. — Pete Prisco


Yahoo! Sports: 3

(down from 2)

I’m not sure Monday was the day to do victory laps over Patrick Mahomes’ expected regression from a 50-touchdown season. He could barely move by the end of the game due to an ankle injury. That affected him. The problem for the Chiefs is they obviously can’t sit Mahomes, but it might take a while before he is totally healthy again if he keeps playing. — Frank Schawb


The Sporting News: 5

(down from 2)

Mahomes didn’t play well against the Colts, with the exception of one razzle-dazzle highlight, and his nagging ankle injury is making him look human. The Chiefs’ banged-up offensive line, their lack of adherence to the run and their shaky defense are putting extra on the MVP’s arm and legs. — Vinnie Iyer


USA Today: 3

(down from 2)

Talent is undeniable, but so are emerging weaknesses — Pat Mahomes’ ankle, receivers and their timing getting disrupted and defense bludgeoned for 569 rushing yards over last three weeks. Nate Davis


The Washington Post: 7

(down from 2)

One loss is fairly meaningless in the bigger picture. But the Chiefs emerged from Sunday night’s defeat to the Colts with QB Patrick Mahomes limping on a bad ankle. There are questions now about the offensive line and the lack of a running game, and the offense suddenly seemed limited without the big-play ability of injured WR Tyreek Hill. — Mark Maske


Mile High Report: 3

(down from 2)

Biggest concerns: 1) Mahomes’ ankle 2) Run defense. — Just_JoRo


Bleeding Green Nation: 3

(down from 2)

It turns out that an injury can’t make Patrick Mahomes look bad but it can make him look mortal. The Chiefs may have blown their chance to get the No. 1 seed in the AFC. — Brandon Lee Gowton