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Wild Card Weekend AP NFL power rankings: Chiefs hold their rank

The Arrowhead Pride team ranks the league from top to bottom.

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL’s regular season is in the books but Arrowhead Pride’s power rankings will continue through championship Sunday, eliminating teams as we go.

This week’s voters were Ron Kopp Jr., Stephen Serda, Bryan Stewart, Rocky Magaña, Jared Sapp, Talon Graff, Mark Gunnels and Kristian Gumminger.

(Writer’s note: Tom Childs is out this week, so I will do my best to properly fill his shoes in our rankings commentary.)

1. Green Bay Packers (1st)

Aaron Rodgers is the heavy favorite to win his second MVP in a row, but can he finally get it done in the playoffs? It may be his last time with the Packers.

2. Kansas City Chiefs (2nd)

Lady Luck wasn’t with the Chiefs when it came to a bye, but a Steelers matchup was the next-best-possible scenario.

3. Tennessee Titans (4th)

A miraculous season in Music City, where they managed the No. 1 seed without Derrick Henry. And here he comes.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5th)

In 2020, Antonio Brown was a big reason the Bucs won the Super Bowl. In 2021, he may be a big reason they don’t.

5. Dallas Cowboys (6th)

Dropping a 50-burger on your division rivals’ backups sounds like a delicious way to end an NFL season.

6. Buffalo Bills (8th)

Will early-season Josh Allen arrive in time for the playoffs?

7. Los Angeles Rams (3rd)

Blew a 17-point lead to a division rival and will now see another division rival in the Monday night game of Super Wild Card Weekend. The Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of this year’s playofs.

8. Cincinnati Bengals (9th)

Joe Burrow should be back this week — and thank goodness for the Bengals.

9. Arizona Cardinals (7th)

Losing four of five to end the season is not the recipe for feeling good about any postseason run.

10. San Francisco 49ers (13th) | This week’s high riser*

Please welcome in guest commentator, George Kittle:

*Note that this week’s high riser is a four-way tie

11. New England Patriots (10th)

Will Mac Jones throw the ball more than three times in Buffalo this time around?

12. Las Vegas Raiders (15th) | This week’s high riser

Nobody expected the Raiders to be in the dance at any point this season. It’s House Money in Vegas.

13. Philadelphia Eagles (16th) | This week’s high riser

Jalen Hurts has faced non-believers since his days in Alabama — and whether fair or unjust, he may only get one crack at a starting opportunity. It might take that do-or-die effort to knock off the defending champions.

14. Los Angeles Chargers (12th)

The Chargers just ran out of time. No, wait. (Too soon?)

15. Pittsburgh Steelers (18th) | This week’s high riser

It took a clown show in Jacksonville to propel Pittsburgh into the playoffs — and now Big Ben faces the Chiefs with his career on the line.

16. Indianapolis Colts (11th) | This week’s greatest faller

Not sure how you can come out of this disaster without looking for a new quarterback.

17. Baltimore Ravens (14th)

The Ravens’ 2021 effort was admirable — with the lengthy injury list they had, an 8-9 record can only be described as impressive.

18. New Orleans Saints (17th)

And so the bright spot of the NFL season for New Orleans becomes their two wins against the Bucs — film that Nick Sirianni should be playing like a Netflix binger this week.

19. Miami Dolphins (21st)

When you have a head coach in whom your players truly believe, you’ve got to fire him promptly.

20. Minnesota Vikings (19th)

I like Mike Zimmer, but I’m eager to see what a run-happy head coach can do working with Dalvin Cook. I happen to know a guy. The Vikings know him, too.

21. Cleveland Browns (20th)

Really no choice but to see what Baker can do in the final year of his contract.

22. Denver Broncos (22nd)

23. Seattle Seahawks (25th)

One way or another, it sure seems like the end of the Carrol-Wilson era in Seattle.

24. Washington Football Team (23rd)

The next time they appear in these rankings, they will have a name!

25. Chicago Bears (27th)

Finally said goodbye to our old friend Matt Nagy, who may land right back here as an assistant. In the NFL, you never know.

26. Atlanta Falcons (26th)

Matt Ryan will be 37 years old next season. For those folks not named Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers, that equates to a window that is nearly shut.

27. Carolina Panthers (24th)

Every day, Matt Rhule thanks God the New York Giants exist.

28. Houston Texans (28th)

Give David Culley one more year; he deserves it after turning in a nice end-of-year run.

29. New York Jets (29th)

Robert Saleh was the most sought-after coach on the market. The Jets have to see better results in Year 2.

30. Detroit Lions (30th)

He’s quirky, but it’s hard not to like Dan Campbell.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (32nd)

The Jaguars have no option but to get their next coaching hire right.

32. New York Giants (31st)

The first decision the Giants’ new general manager has to make is to fire Joe Judge.

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