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NFL power rankings Week 13 roundup: Chiefs rise — and fall

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

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Kansas City Chiefs v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Candice Ward/Getty Images

After the Kansas City Chiefs delivered a 31-17 blow to the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, it was possible to argue that Kansas City should rise in the rankings — and because the team fell behind 14-0 in the first half, it was also possible to argue that it should fall. So in the Week 13 rankings, that’s pretty much what what we saw.

Here’s our usual sampling: 4

(up from 5)

The offense got back in rhythm after the early 14-0 deficit to the Raiders, scoring four touchdowns in a five-drive span to build a two-score lead, and using more than three minutes of clock on the late field-goal drive that helped ice a 31-17 win. The Chiefs got a big game Sunday from rookie receiver Rashee Rice and the most they’ve gotten from second-year wideout Skyy Moore since September. It was a start, and a mostly encouraging one, considering that the Chiefs committed zero turnovers, allowed just one sack and had only one clear dropped pass on Patrick Mahomes’ 34 pass attempts. Defensively, Kansas City was bad for the first 20 minutes and great for the final 40. It wasn’t a perfect effort, but it was a more-than-satisfactory bounceback after the emotional loss to the Eagles.

— Eric Edholm


(down from 3)

FPI Offense rank: 6
FPI Defense rank: 6
FPI Special teams rank: 19

The Chiefs haven’t been as dynamic offensively as they were last season — averaging 5.9 offensive points less per game in 2023 (23.27). But the team showed in Sunday’s win over the Raiders that they can be effective when they avoid turnovers (they have 19 this season) and dropped passes (6.8% of passes have been dropped). The defense has carried the Chiefs when the offense struggled, allowing the third-fewest points per game (16.5). They have multiple defenders playing well at all three levels. The special teams ranking is a disappointment since the Chiefs expected to be better than middle of the pack.

Adam Teicher

The Athletic: 3

(down from 2)

Best case: Super Bowl ring

It would be the second in a row for the Chiefs. Any worries about the state of Kansas City’s wide receiving corps should be offset by the fact that this team won its last Super Bowl with the same group plus JuJu Smith-Schuster, who has 24 catches this season for 159 yards for the Patriots. Rashee Rice was a bright spot Sunday, catching eight passes for 107 yards. With Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid, the best case is a ring. On Sunday, Reid became the first coach in NFL history to become the winningest coach for two franchises.

— Josh Kendall

Sports Illustrated: 3

(unchanged from 3)

Rashee Rice’s best game as a member of the Chiefs came at a good time, and against a Raiders defense that was actually playing pretty well over the past month (like, top 10 in the league caliber). I’m not ready to declare the Chiefs’ patient experiment with the wideouts a success—the proof of that will ultimately come in critical moments. But it’s a long play that is sensible and cost efficient. And it feels more promising than it has in recent weeks.

— Conor Orr

Pro Football Talk: 4

(up from 5)

They’ve been trying so hard to will Kadarius Toney into becoming the No. 1 receiver that they didn’t realize maybe Rashee Rice is a better candidate for the job.

— Mike Florio 3

(up from 4)

The passing game made some big strides against the Raiders, especially by the receivers. That’s what’s going to define how good they will be going forward.

— Pete Prisco

Fox Sports: 4

(unchanged from 4)

Go figure that Rashee Rice would have his best game as a pro one week after the Chiefs’ passing game collapsed. Now we just need that type of performance consistently as Kansas City tries to lock up another AFC No. 1 seed.

— David Helman

Yahoo! Sports: 3

(up from 4)

Rashee Rice’s 107-yard game might end up being a big turning point in not just the Chiefs’ season but for the entire NFL season. With the Chiefs’ defense playing well, KC just needed a spark at receiver. If Rice’s big game is a sign he’s about to get hot, that’s huge for the Chiefs.

— Frank Schwab

The Sporting News: 3

(up from 4)

The Chiefs started slowly offensively against the Raiders and their defense also had bad lapses. But then their young receivers beyond Travis Kelce came through for Patrick Mahomes as they had their most complete offensive performance in several weeks, getting ready for the stretch run.

— Vinnie Iyer

USA Today: 3

(down from 2)

Momentous Sunday, Andy Reid overtaking Hank Stram as the franchise’s all-time leader with 125 regular-season wins. Meanwhile, Travis Kelce became the fastest tight end in league history (154 games) to hit 11,000 career receiving yards. And Kansas City actually scored in the second half. Of the reigning AFC champs’ six remaining opponents, only Buffalo is as good as .500.

Nate Davis

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