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NFL power rankings Week 14 roundup: After Bengals loss, Chiefs take a hit

Let’s see where Kansas City stands in the latest rankings from around the country.

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NFL: DEC 04 Chiefs at Bengals Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After the Kansas City Chiefs fell 27-24 to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, it was inevitable that the team would take a hit in the next set of power rankings. But how much it fell in some of them was a little surprising. The best (and likely most fair) ranking is from ESPN, which is based on a poll among its NFL beat writers. Without having to attach their names to their opinions, those writers from around the country only dropped Kansas City into second place.

Here’s this week’s sampling: 5

(down from 2)

The Chiefs’ hopes of landing the No. 1 seed in the AFC took a major hit Sunday with their 27-24 loss to the Bengals, the one team in the conference that appears to have Kansas City’s number. That’s three straight losses to Joe Burrow and Co. in the past calendar year; all taut, one-score affairs that ended with Cincy making the type of crunch-time money play that Kansas City has been known for during its extended run of greatness. With a favorable schedule, the Chiefs can still right the ship and nab the top seed and bye that comes with it… but you wonder if some doubt has crept in when it comes to the team from Cincinnati.

— Dan Hanzus

Editor’s note: whether Kansas City’s chance to get the No. 1 seed took a “major hit” is at least arguable. The loss to the Bengals does mean that the team no longer controls its own postseason destiny — but with one Buffalo loss, that control could return.


(down from 1)

We’re No. 1 in... scoring.

The Chiefs remain No. 1 offensively with an average of 29.2 points per game. Their lead was built on the strength of three 40-plus point games in their first seven. Since then, the Chiefs have only topped their average once in five games, that being a 30-point performance in a win over the Chargers in Week 11. The Chiefs scored 17, 20 and 24 in their three losses.

Adam Teicher

The Athletic: 2

(down from 1)

In their three successive losses to the Bengals, including last season’s AFC Championship Game, the Chiefs have mystifyingly scored a combined six fourth-quarter points. Travis Kelce’s costly fumble and Harrison Butker’s missed 55-yard field goal attempt came back to bite the Chiefs, but there’s also probably a sense in Kansas City that Joe Burrow would have found a way to lead a game-winning drive at the end if he needed to.

Still, the Chiefs are in good position. They have the league’s best offense by a significant margin and their schedule down the stretch includes just one team with a winning record (Seattle in Week 16). The Bills hold the tiebreaker for the AFC’s top seed — and Mock’s model gives Buffalo a 46.7 to 40.6 percent edge in the race for the No. 1 seed — but their schedule features three teams with a winning record, including the Bengals in Week 17. That’s good news for Kansas City, as long as it can avoid the Bengals come January.

— Bo Wulf 4

(down from 1)

As long as they don’t play the Bengals, they are just fine. Cincinnati beat them three times in 2022, including last week. Don’t worry much about this group.

— Pete Prisco

Yahoo! Sports: 3

(down from 1)

The Chiefs’ remaining schedule is: at Broncos, at Texans, vs. Seahawks, vs. Broncos, at Raiders. They’re probably not losing any of those games. Sunday’s loss wasn’t ideal but they still have a great shot at the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

— Frank Schwab

The Sporting News: 4

(down from 2)

The Chiefs couldn’t figure out the Bengals in crunch time in another close game, making more critical mistakes. Their defense still can struggle with diverse attacks and the offense isn’t so automatic at times with Patrick Mahomes. They slipped as Super Bowl favorites, but not by much.

— Vinnie Iyer

USA Today: 5

(down from 2)

Once again, they hit the Cincinnati speed bump hard. But the ride to postseason looks awfully smooth from there, with trips to Denver and Houston the next two weeks – when Andy Reid will become the third coach to reach double-digit wins in eight consecutive regular seasons.

Nate Davis

Editor’s note: The Chiefs “hit the Cincinnati speed bump hard”? That’s how a three-point loss is now described?

Mile High Report: 2

(down from 1)

Ross Allen made no comment about the Chiefs this week.

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