For the first quarter of the Kansas City Chiefs’ Week 4 matchup with the New York Jets, the team looked unstoppable as it ran out to a 17-0 lead. But then quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw a pair of interceptions that helped spark a 20-3 New York run that tied the game early in the second half. Then in the final quarter, the Kansas City defense (and Mahomes) both stood up to win the matchup. From the outside, it’s probably very hard to really figure out what’s up with the Chiefs — and that’s reflected in Week 5’s power rankings from around the country.
Here’s this week’s sampling:
(up from 3)
Patrick Mahomes had one of the stranger outings of his career in a 23-20 victory over the Jets, perhaps switching bodies with Zach Wilson for the middle part of the Sunday night tilt. I didn’t expect Mahomes to go full Mamba and unleash the legs quite that much, but that’s what he does on off nights. And it’s a big part of what makes him the best. Pat can beat you — on the road, in the fourth quarter — with his fourth-best pitch. Kansas City’s defense was humbled a bit after a really strong start to the season, but all told, the Chiefs survived a scare in prime time. Now three wins removed from the Kickoff Game loss to the Lions, the Chiefs are getting their mojo back — while acquiring a whole new legion of fans.
— Eric Edholm
(unchanged from 4)
Defensive efficiency: 73.3 (6th)
Biggest issue on defense: Lack of takeaways
The Chiefs have five takeaways, tied for 11th in the NFL. That’s not good enough for a team that thrives on the pressure it puts on the opposing offense. Particularly alarming is the fact they have just one interception despite playing two games against otherwise struggling young quarterbacks in Justin Fields and Zach Wilson. That doesn’t bode well for upcoming games against Kirk Cousins, Russell Wilson (twice), Justin Herbert, Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts in the next six weeks.
— Adam Teicher
The Athletic: 5
(down from 3)
After losing to the Lions in Week 1, the Chiefs are getting into game shape. Patrick Mahomes had a 63.6 quarterback rating Sunday night and made the two biggest plays of the game with his legs, but hardly anyone noticed after Taylor Swift, Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman descended upon MetLife Stadium for the game. The whole Swift-following-the-Chiefs-everywhere thing is a whole different level of chaos.
— Josh Kendall
(up from 3)
Patrick Mahomes said it after the game on Sunday night and I agree: there is nothing wrong with the Chiefs winning a sloppy time-of-possession game against a really good defense. The Isiah Pacheco effect seems to be maturing into what Andy Reid had always hoped he could find in this running game: a true, clock-draining hammer who can take the pressure off his transcendent star quarterback. The officiating helped Kansas City eke out this Jets victory for sure, but the result was valuable from a team sanity standpoint.
— Conor Orr
(up from 4)
This team’s foot slips off the gas pedal far too often.
— Mike Florio
(unchanged from 3)
It wasn’t easy against the Jets, but they found a way. The offense still isn’t clicking yet the way we’ve come to expect. When is the big game from Patrick Mahomes coming?
— Pete Prisco
(down from 3)
Isiah Pacheco had a promising game. He had 115 yards on the ground and 43 receiving against a very good Jets defense. That’s a great sign for a Chiefs offense that needs playmakers other than Travis Kelce. If the Chiefs can keep Pacheco going and have a young receiver emerge (I’d bet on rookie Rashee Rice), the Chiefs’ offense could get back to a top-three form. They haven’t quite been there yet this season.
— Frank Schwab
(down from 2)
The Chiefs got a scare against the Jets in prime time but even through their offense is grinding through things with Patrick Mahomes, they just have too much clutch passing and running to be denied in lower-scoring games.
— Vinnie Iyer
USA Today: 6
(down from 4)
TE Travis Kelce had six catches Sunday night, roughly matching the amount of commercials he appeared in. Still, concerning to see QB Patrick Mahomes largely outplayed by Jets counterpart Zach Wilson.
— Nate Davis