After dismantling the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 41-31 on Sunday Night Football, it would be reasonable to think the Kansas City Chiefs would make a big jump up in the Week 5 NFL power rankings — perhaps even into the top spot. There’s just one problem: the Philadelphia Eagles are now the league’s only unbeaten team. Until they lose a game, many writers will give them the top spot by default.
Most interesting this week: ESPN’s ranking, which is based on an anonymous vote of their team and national feature writers. Shielded by the vote, none of them have to justify placing a team with a loss in front of an unbeaten team.
Here’s this week’s sampling:
(up from 5)
Patrick Mahomes used the primetime stage of Sunday Night Football to remind the world that he remains — even in a golden age of quarterback play — a one-of-one proposition. The Chiefs superstar was unstoppable in a 41-31 win over the Bucs, gleefully shredding Todd Bowles’ well-regarded defense. The highlight that will play one day during his Canton-induction sizzle reel? The scramble and acrobatic flip to Clyde Edwards-Helaire for an absurd touchdown in the second quarter. “The NFL hasn’t seen anything like Mahomes — I promise you that,” Travis Kelce said after the victory. “You saw it today — he’s the Houdini of our era.”
— Dan Hanzus
(up from 4)
The biggest issue on defense is... forcing turnovers.
The Chiefs have taken the ball from their opponent just four times. Only four teams have forced fewer turnovers, and all of them have losing records. The Chiefs are doing a nice job of pressuring the quarterback, so it figures the turnovers will come. In the meantime, the Chiefs have made the most of their four turnovers. They converted each into a touchdown.
— Adam Teicher
The Athletic: 3
(up from 4)
What they are: Appointment television.
There’s no one in the league who plays like Patrick Mahomes and there’s no calling plays in the red zone like Andy Reid. The Chiefs rank No. 1 in offensive EPA per drive and No. 1 in EPA per dropback, which makes them the envy of the league, especially with one of the best offensive lines in the game. The 41 points they scored Sunday night were the most allowed by a Todd Bowles defense since the 2018 Jets lost to the Packers 44-38.
— Bo Wulf
(up from 5)
Going to Tampa Bay and beating up on the Bucs gets them back on track after that loss to the Colts. They looked like the Chiefs offense of old in that game.
— Pete Prisco
(unchanged from 3)
The Bills play at the Chiefs in two weeks. That will be the most important game of the regular season, because neither team wants to go on the road to face the other in January. Kansas City is excellent again, mostly because they have the best quarterback in the game. Sunday night was a reminder that head coach Andy Reid and Mahomes are going to maximize whatever they have to work with.
— Frank Schwab
(up from 6)
The Chiefs’ offense came out refocused after the Colts stumble to dismantle a strong Buccaneers defense with their very diverse passing and rushing playbook. Patrick Mahomes keeps getting better with his remixed weapons and Andy Reid’s updated more balanced philosophy.
— Vinnie Iyer
USA Today: 3
(up from 5)
Maybe a team with two backs (Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Isiah Pacheco) averaging at least 5 yards per carry should run more than 41% of the time?
— Nate Davis
(up from 3)
To the chagrin of most NFL fans, it seems like the Chiefs are as good as ever, even after an offseason were they seemingly got worse. Patrick Mahomes got a little payback against the Bucs as he embarrassed their defense for all four quarters.
— Tim Lynch