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Week 10 NFL Power Rankings: Chiefs hold in place

With another Chiefs win — and the Steelers sill undefeated — almost all of the national writers decided to stand pat.

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NFL: Carolina Panthers at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

If it wasn’t for the pesky writers at Sports Illustrated’s MMQB — who returned to their traditional poll format for one week at the midpoint of the season — every one of the power rankings we’re tracking probably would have had the Kansas City Chiefs in the same spot as Week 9. Next week, the MMQB will return to this season’s rotating format — in which one of their writers will publish their own power ranking — so the top of their ranking could change then. Just for the record: we like the MMQB’s poll format a lot better!

Here’s our weekly sampling of NFL power rankings: 1

(unchanged from 1)

Patrick Mahomes is locked in, and it makes the Chiefs something close to unbeatable. A ball-control Panthers offense allowed Kansas City only 22 minutes of possession on Sunday, but that was still enough time for Mahomes to throw for 372 yards and four touchdowns in a 33-31 win. Mahomes needed just 40 games to reach 101 touchdown passes, passing Dan Marino as the fastest ever to triple-digit scores. “You’re seeing the best of him right now,’’ Andy Reid said after the game. Reid dialed up a pass-heavy attack against Carolina, and Mahomes relied on his two stars to carry the day — Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce finished with a combined 272 receiving yards and two touchdowns. The defending champs hit their bye as the best team in football.

— Dan Hanzus


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Recalibrated expectation: Repeat as Super Bowl champions

Nothing that has happened in the season’s first nine games has changed a thing in this regard. The Chiefs lead the NFL in point differential, a sign of their strength. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes, with 25 touchdown passes and one interception, is playing as well, if not better, than ever. The Chiefs have found ways to win even without getting big performances from Mahomes. From this vantage point, the Chiefs have the look of a tough out in the playoffs.

Adam Teicher

Sports Illustrated MMQB: 1

(up from 2)

Points in poll: 188

Highest-place vote: 1 (2)

Lowest-place vote: 2 (4)

Last week: Win vs. Carolina 33–31

Next week: Bye

The Steelers may be undefeated, but the defending champs remain dangerous. They get to our unofficial midpoint at 8–1, with Patrick Mahomes playing as well as ever. The defense can be vulnerable, but any playoff foe will have to outscore them. Good luck!

— Albert Breer, Andrew Brandt, Gary Gramling, Mitch Goldich, Conor Orr and Jenny Vrentas 2

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They haven’t even hit their stride yet, which is scary for the rest of the league. They made it interesting against the Panthers with a defensive regression.

— Pete Prisco

Yahoo! Sports: 1

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We have to remember that all NFL teams are capable. Well, most of them are. Sure, the Chiefs didn’t blow out the Panthers. But they won. There’s no reason to question how good the Chiefs are just because they played a close game against a competent team.

— Frank Schawb

The Sporting News: 1

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The Chiefs are getting a little pass-happy with Patrick Mahomes in the middle of the season but he’s also playing at a crazy high MVP level. They need to get better defensively and against the run to maximize his presence on the field.

— Vinnie Iyer

USA Today: 2

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Andy Reid’s 230th career win (including playoffs) moved him into fifth place all-time among head coaches. Next up? Tom Landry, who has 270 victories.

Nate Davis

The Washington Post: 2

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For all the talk about Patrick Mahomes not being as spectacular this season as in other years, he has 25 TD passes and one interception and perhaps is the league MVP front-runner. His presence will make the Chiefs the team to beat entering the postseason, regardless of whether they’re the AFC’s No. 1 seed.

— Mark Maske

Mile High Report: 2

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The AFC is beginning to separate themselves from the NFC. I have the top four teams now coming out of the American Football Conference and the only two NFC teams that I think would be in the discussion right now would be the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers. The Seattle Seahawks are close, but their defense has looming question marks that may keep them from competing for the NFC title in 2020.

Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Steelers are the NFL’s only unbeaten. The Kansas City Chiefs are likely still the best team in the league despite that one loss and Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills are absolutely legit. Of course, don’t count on the Baltimore Ravens or Tennessee Titans either. In all, the AFC has nine teams with a 5-3 or better record to the NFC’s six.

— Tim Lynch

Bleeding Green Nation: 2

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Patrick Mahomes has scored 27 touchdowns and thrown just one interception this season. It’s not fair. KC has the NFL’s best point differential at +103.

— Brandon Lee Gowton

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