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NFL power rankings Week 18 roundup: Chiefs drop after loss in Cincinnati

Let’s see where Kansas City stands in this week’s rankings.

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NFL: JAN 02 Chiefs at Bengals Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Sunday’s 34-31 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals didn’t do the Kansas City Chiefs any favors in the Week 18 NFL power rankings from around the country. Most dropped the Chiefs — sometimes quite a bit.

Here’s this week’s sampling: 4

(down from 2)

Kansas City’s defense had been the team’s one constant this season: The unit held the team together when the offense was mired in a curious extended funk. The Chiefs’ attack has reemerged in recent weeks, but it was now the other side of the ball that didn’t hold up its end in a damaging loss to the Bengals that may have cost Kansas City the top seed in the AFC. The deadly combination of Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase took advantage of defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s overaggressive approach, as Cincy piled up five plays of 30 yards or more. File this away for a potential January rematch.

— Dan Hanzus


(down from 1)

New Year’s resolution: Re-sign Tyrann Mathieu

The Chiefs need to keep Mathieu around past the end of his contract in a couple of months. He has plenty of value as a player and an equal amount as a leader in the locker room. The Chiefs would struggle to find all that he brings at a lesser price than what it would take to re-sign him. They haven’t invested heavily in their secondary other than Mathieu, and he is one player they cannot do without.

Adam Teicher

Sports Illustrated: 2

(down from 1)

The Chiefs are banged-up offensively and still don’t look reminiscent of the weakness-free club that stomped their way to a Super Bowl a few years ago. That said, they are still a collection of star players immensely familiar with one another and led by one of the greatest coaches in NFL history.

— Conor Orr 5

(down from 3)

Losing to the Bengals in a shootout drops them out of the top spot in the AFC. The defense had a rough day.

— Pete Prisco

Yahoo! Sports: 3

(down from 2)

Giving up more than 400 yards to Joe Burrow made you wonder if the Chiefs’ bad defense from earlier this season could reappear. I doubt it since Kansas City had played some good defense for two months, but it’s a reminder that the right opponent could still pile up yards on them in the playoffs.

— Frank Schwab

The Sporting News: 5

(down from 2)

The Chiefs’ defense has played much better in the second half, but they have struggled of late against bigger-time offenses with young guns, the Chargers and Bengals. Kansas City is still the AFC favorite because of Patrick Mahomes, but keep in mind it has lost to Tennessee, Cincinnati, Buffalo and Los Angeles in the potential playoff field.

— Vinnie Iyer

USA Today: 2

(unchanged from 2)

WR Tyreek Hill’s 110 receptions are a single-season team record. His 11.2 yards per catch are his lowest – by 3.5 yards – since he became a starter in 2017. Despite Sunday’s stumble in Cincinnati, no one is going to want to see Hill or Kansas City once the playoffs start.

Nate Davis

The Washington Post: 6

(down from 1)

The winning streak was halted at eight as the defense didn’t have answers Sunday for Joe Burrow and the Bengals. The Chiefs lost their grip on the top seed in the AFC. They’re still capable of making a postseason run to another Super Bowl, but it’s much tougher now.

— Mark Maske

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