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NFL power rankings Week 9 roundup: Chiefs both up and down

Following Kansas City’s win against the Giants, writers aren’t quite sure how that should effect their rankings.

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New York Giants v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Writers across the country couldn’t quite make up their minds about what the Kansas City Chiefs’ narrow 20-17 win over the New York Giants meant. Some thought that should bring the Chiefs up a spot or two. Others felt differently.

Here’s this week’s sampling:


NFL.com: 13

(up from 14)

The Chiefs found a way on Monday night, but don’t mistake that for reason to think all is well in Kansas City. Andy Reid’s team remains bizarrely mistake-riddled on offense, and a slew of penalties kept an inferior Giants team in the game until the end. Kansas City’s big-strike attack remains absent, and struggles in the red zone can no longer be seen as an anomaly. Something just seems off with this offense, and the sight of a mortal Patrick Mahomes tentatively feeling his way through games remains a jarring viewing experience. The road ahead is brutal: Kansas City has the toughest schedule in the league the rest of the way, with a marquee matchup against Aaron Rodgers and the surging Packers up next. Buckle up.

— Dan Hanzus


ESPN: 15

(down from 14)

The Chiefs had a league-low eight sacks and a feeble pass rush win rate of 35.2% heading into Monday night’s game against the Giants. There’s no mystery why opposing quarterbacks had a 61.4 QBR against them. It’s difficult to see any hope that the defense will make significant improvement unless these numbers improve. The Chiefs were getting little from Chris Jones and Frank Clark, two of the highest-paid players on their roster. The two combined for two sacks, with Clark contributing zero going into the Giants game.

Adam Teicher


Sports Illustrated: 12

(down from 10)

Speaking of the Chiefs, I am fully aware of the issues they have had in their 4–4 start. And I know they don’t look like they have the last three years when they made things look laughably easy at times. But I still trust them to figure things out over the course of the long season, and they should still scare potential opponents down the line. I thought about having them lower than 12th, but look at the teams directly below them: the Bengals, Steelers, Browns and Patriots. I’d still pick them to beat any of those teams on a random Sunday on a neutral field (which every power ranker knows is the ultimate test).

— Mitch Goldich


CBSSports.com: 12

(up from 17)

Once again, the offense looked clunky in beating the Giants. That has to change. Patrick Mahomes doesn’t look like himself.

— Pete Prisco


Yahoo! Sports: 12

(up from 13)

A win is better than a loss, but it’s not like the Chiefs have a lot to be excited about after barely beating the Giants. There are too many turnovers and penalties and not many big plays to make up for it. The Chiefs could develop into a great team, but they’re not very good right now.

— Frank Schwab


The Sporting News: 14

(down from 13)

The Chiefs should have liked everything that happened before them playing on Monday night, save for the Bills and Titans taking care of business in division games. The first goal toward taking back the NFC West is beating the Giants, ahead of hosting the Packers in Week 9.

— Vinnie Iyer


USA Today: 14

(down from 13)

Aside from continued failures to protect the ball or run it with much efficacy against a bad team, they looked great. Now let’s see how that translates with Kansas City’s next three against first-place teams (Green Bay, Las Vegas, Dallas) before defending AFC champs reach much-needed bye.

Nate Davis


The Washington Post: 14

(up from 19)

Patrick Mahomes threw one more interception and had another negated by an offside penalty. Travis Kelce lost a fumble. The Chiefs committed a dozen penalties. Other than eking out a victory over the Giants, there wasn’t much to like about how the Chiefs played Monday night. There’s room to wonder if this is ever going to get better this season.

— Mark Maske


Mile High Report: 15

(up from 16)

The AFC is a mess with no team with a clear cut above the rest. The Tennessee Titans might have been that team, but they just lost the engine their powers their offense in Derrick Henry for the next 10 weeks or so. The Buffalo Bills don’t look consistent enough to be a contender. In fact, despite so-so defensive play, the Las Vegas Raiders look like the most consistent team in the AFC right now. Isn’t that disgusting?

— Tim Lynch


Bleeding Green Nation: 13

(unchanged from 13)

The Chiefs sure don’t look like The Chiefs this season. They can’t be counted out because we all know Andy Reid is quite capable of leading a team on a big run. But it’s going to take Patrick Mahomes playing a lot better than he is right now. He has more interceptions (5) than touchdowns (4) in his last three games. Not to mention two lost fumbles.

— Brandon Lee Gowton