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Week 8 NFL Power Rankings: Chiefs continue to edge up

Let’s see how the national writers view the Chiefs after their lopsided win in Denver.

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Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

After defeating the Denver Broncos 43-16 on Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs trended up a bit in the power rankings from national writers. A couple acknowledged that only the Pittsburgh Steelers’ undefeated record now keeps them above the Chiefs — but none chose to be unimpressed by the Chiefs’ win in Denver.

Here’s our weekly sampling: 1

(unchanged from 1)

The Chiefs can blow you out even when Patrick Mahomes plays quarterback like a mortal. Mahomes managed just one touchdown pass and 200 yards through the air, but Kansas City still hung a 40-burger on the Broncos because the team made game-changing plays in all phases of the game. Daniel Sorensen had a pick-six. Byron Pringle had a 102-yard kickoff return. Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran through four would-be tacklers on a touchdown jaunt. Playing in frigid conditions, Mahomes failed to record a single third-down conversion, but the Chiefs continue to show they don’t live and die on the arm of their all-world QB. This was the second straight week that weather conditions kept the air attack at bay — you get the feeling a bombs-away affair is coming. Oh look, there’s the Jets in Week 8.

— Dan Hanzus


(unchanged from 2)

Who needs to step up: K Harrison Butker

Butker has missed five extra points, and his PAT rate of 79.2% is the worst in the NFL. It hasn’t cost the Chiefs yet, but it’s only a matter of time until it does. What’s puzzling about this is that Butker has been so good on field goals (93%). He hit two 58-yarders in a Week 2 overtime win versus the Chargers.

Adam Teicher

Sports Illustrated MMQB: 2

(down from 1)

Last week: Win at Denver 43–16

Next week: vs. New York Jets

The Chiefs, like the Cardinals, are staying in business by making themselves impossible to match up against every week. There is simply too much talent here, too much magic at the quarterback position making it all run, too many gutsy well-timed defensive plays to count this team out of any game.

— Conor Orr 2

(up from 3)

They have shown this season that they can win even when Patrick Mahomes doesn’t put up gaudy numbers. That’s a sign of a more complete team.

— Pete Prisco

Yahoo! Sports: 1

(unchanged from 1)

The Chiefs got only 286 yards on Sunday. They scored 43 points, with help from touchdowns by the defense and special teams. This isn’t just a team that needs to outscore everyone; it can win in all ways.

— Frank Schawb

The Sporting News: 1

(up from 3)

The Chiefs flexed their defensive and special teams big-play ability and ran even better with Le’Veon Bell considering the tough weather in Denver. When Patrick Mahomes wins with an easy day at the office, that makes them such strong favorites to repeat.

— Vinnie Iyer

USA Today: 2

(up from 5)

RB Le’Veon Bell averaged 6.5 yards a carry in K.C. debut, nearly 2 yards better than his best game with Jets ... whom he’ll face Sunday.

Nate Davis

The Washington Post: 2

(unchanged from 2)

Le’Veon Bell was a contributor in his Chiefs debut in Sunday’s lopsided triumph at snowy Denver. The rich get richer. Or in this case, the richest get richest-er.

— Mark Maske

Mile High Report: 2

(up from 3)

The AFC is going to be led by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs, and Baltimore Ravens. The Buffalo Bills will take a division and the AFC South looks like it’ll come down to the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts. Some of these teams could fade down the stretch, but they are in prime position to march into the playoffs.

— Tim Lynch

Bleeding Green Nation: 2

(unchanged from 2)

Toyed with moving the Chiefs back to No. 1 but ultimately kept them here. Pretty impressive how KC went 0/8 on third down and 3/6 in the red zone and still won by 27 points. Three combined defensive/special teams touchdowns helps with that.

— Brandon Lee Gowton

Editor’s Note: Three? Try two. But OK.

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