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Week 17 NFL Power Rankings: Chiefs remain on top — but doubts surface

The national writers are now noticing the Chiefs have won a lot of close games.

Atlanta Falcons v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Once again, our sampling of NFL power rankings from around the country show consensus: the Kansas City Chiefs are the league’s best team. But some writers are now wondering if this whole low-margin-of-victory thing is something for the Chiefs to be concerned about.

Here’s our sampling:


NFL.com: 1

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It should be against the rules to be as good as the Chiefs are ... and also get lucky. The football gods shined down on the sons from Kansas City on Sunday, pushing Younghoe Koo’s 39-yard field-goal attempt wide right in the final seconds of a 17-14 win over the Falcons. The victory clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC for the defending champions, who also now have the option to rest their most important players in a meaningless Week 17 tilt against the Chargers. Should there be some concern that Patrick Mahomes and the offense struggled to put up points against a mediocre Falcons defense? Perhaps — though this feels like a team going through the motions as it waits for the bright lights of January football. Almost there.

— Dan Hanzus


ESPN: 1

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New Year’s resolution: Have another rookie crop like that of 2020

The Chiefs will stay in great shape if they can continue to replenish with young talent as they did this year. Draft picks L’Jarius Sneed, Willie Gay, Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Michael Danna and undrafted rookies Tershawn Wharton and Tommy Townsend have the look of players who will be a part of things in Kansas City for a while.

Adam Teicher


Sports Illustrated MMQB: 1

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I’ve seen a lot of Harlem Globetrotters games over my lifetime, and Kansas City Chiefs games have taken on a similar vibe minus buckets of confetti. No matter what happens in the first 58 minutes, victory seems like a foregone conclusion.

— Gary Gramling


CBSSports.com: 1

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They have locked up the top seed in the AFC, but they haven’t looked dominant for much of the second half of the season. Can they pick it up come playoff time?

— Pete Prisco


Yahoo! Sports: 1

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Andy Reid is saying he’ll rest starters in Week 17. It’s a tough balancing act. If the Chiefs don’t play anyone, that will mean 19 or 20 days without playing a game once you account for the bye. You don’t want a 14-1 team to lose all of its momentum.

— Frank Schawb


The Sporting News: 1

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— Vinnie Iyer


USA Today: 1

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They’ve won franchise record 14 regular-season games and could up total to 15... though it sounds like key starters will get next two weeks off.

Nate Davis


The Washington Post: 1

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The Chiefs played down to the Falcons’ level but escaped with the victory and secured the top seed with a missed field goal by Atlanta. Get ready for a third straight AFC championship game to be played at Kansas City. Stop nitpicking about how the Chiefs are winning. Patrick Mahomes has reached the point in his career at which he simply knows how to do whatever it takes to win.

— Mark Maske


Bleeding Green Nation: 1

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On one hand, KC looks vulnerable. Margin of victory from their last seven games: 2, 4, 3, 6, 6, 3, 3. They conceivably could’ve lost to Atlanta at home if not for some dropped picks. On the other hand, the Chiefs should benefit from two weeks of rest with nothing to play for in Week 17 and then a first-round bye. They’ll probably be fine. But are they truly invincible?

— Brandon Lee Gowton