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NFL power rankings Week 17 roundup: Chiefs peaking at the right time

Let’s see where Kansas City stands in this week’s rankings from around the NFL universe.

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Seattle Seahawks v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

After the Kansas City Chiefs took care of their Christmas Eve business with a 24-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks, most NFL power rankings kept them steady. But two of them — notably ESPN’s writer poll — moved them to the top.

Here’s this week’s sampling: 5

(unchanged from 5)

The Chiefs played clean football in Saturday’s workmanlike 24-10 win over the Seahawks at Arrowhead. It’s a welcome change for a team that hasn’t always been on top of its game, even as it has continued to win. The offense finished without a turnover for the first time since Week 5, while a young Kansas City defense yielded few big plays to Geno Smith and Co. “I mentioned it the other way the last couple of weeks, that they need to get better,” Reid said of his defense. “They’re making progress and I thought they did a nice job today.” Kansas City can still claim the No. 1 seed in the AFC with two wins and a loss by the Bills.

— Dan Hanzus


(up from 3)

Defining moment: Trading Tyreek Hill.

The Chiefs picked up draft picks and salary-cap room when they sent their top wide receiver to Miami back in March. They appear to have not only lengthened their window to win one or more Super Bowl championships with the picks they acquired in the trade, but they look to have done so without hurting their chance to win one this season. Even after trading Hill, the Chiefs were still among the league leaders in scoring. At 12-3, they are in position to make a deep run in the playoffs, but they’ll have to deliver some victories in the postseason to completely vindicate the trade.

Adam Teicher

The Athletic: 1

(up from 2)

The Chiefs are not the most well-rounded of the league’s elite teams. Their defense ranks 21st in EPA (expected points added) per drive, 21st in overall DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average), 19th in weighted DVOA (which weighs recent performance more) and, concerningly, 32nd in red zone defense. But offense matters more than anything, and Kansas City has the best offense in the league by almost any measure — and has the league’s best quarterback. That’s enough to break what feels like a four-way tie, even if Nos. 2 and 3 have both beaten the Chiefs already.

— Bo Wulf 3

(unchanged from 3)

They didn’t quite light up the scoreboard against Seattle, but the good news is the defense played well. That’s progress.

— Pete Prisco

Yahoo! Sports: 3

(unchanged from 3)

The biggest game in the Chiefs’ season is the Bills at Bengals game next Monday night. The Chiefs are probably winning out. The Bills are probably winning in Week 18 when they host the Patriots. There’s an enormous difference for the Bills and Chiefs in the No. 1 and 2 seeds, for obvious reasons. The No. 1 seed — and likely who represents the AFC in the Super Bowl — probably hinges on that Bills-Bengals game.

— Frank Schwab

The Sporting News: 3

(unchanged from 3)

The Chiefs are manufacturing offense in different ways as running backs Isiah Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon have become legitimate big-weapons to play well off Travis Kelce. Their defense also showed some needed timely pop against the Seahawks.

— Vinnie Iyer

USA Today: 3

(unchanged from 3)

They’ve got a path to the AFC’s No. 1 seed, and that starts with holding serve against Denver... and then hoping Bengals beat Buffalo in that massive Monday night matchup in Cincinnati.

Nate Davis

Mile High Report: 2

(up from 3)

No comment regarding the Chiefs in Week 17.

— Ross Allen

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