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NFL power rankings Week 10 roundup: the Chiefs have a defense

Where does Kansas City stand in the NFL power rankings from around the country?

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Miami Dolphins v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

It’s not as if no one had ever noted the Kansas City Chiefs’ defense in other power rankings from 2023 — but this week, almost all of them did. This is what happens when the league’s highest-scoring team is held to its lowest point total of the season.

Here’s this week’s sampling:


NFL.com: 3

(up from 4)

Sunday provided proof that Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce don’t need to have their greatest games for the Chiefs to have a chance to win. This defense will give up some rushing yards and has snagged just five interceptions, but those are about the only bad things you can say about this unit. The 2019 and 2021 defenses finished seventh and eighth in the NFL, respectively, in points allowed. This year’s group is better than both of those units — it might even be good enough to carry this team in some of the tougher games left on the schedule. I’m not sure there’s a better group of tackling defensive backs in this league right now. You might catch a pass against the Chiefs, but good luck getting much YAC after that. They swarm.

— Eric Edholm


ESPN: 2

(up from 3)

Non-QB MVP: TE Travis Kelce

The Chiefs have several defenders playing well, but Kelce to a large extent has carried the passing game with the other receivers struggling. He has 25% of the Chiefs’ catches (57) and 24% of their receiving yards (597). He returned from an ankle injury to be a key player in a Week 5 win over the Vikings.

Adam Teicher


The Athletic: 3

(up from 4)

Report card: B-plus

You can’t have a loss to the Broncos in the last month and get an A. Sorry, these are the rules. Travis Kelce became Kansas City’s all-time leading receiver Sunday in Germany (10,941 yards), but the story was the defense, which held the Dolphins 138 yards under their season average. The Chiefs are third in the NFL in defensive EPA per drive (.70), according to TruMedia. If there’s a worry, it’s that four of Kansas City’s seven lowest offensive success rate games in the Patrick Mahomes era have come this season. Sunday was its third lowest in that span (36.1).

— Josh Kendall


Sports Illustrated: 2

(unchanged from 2)

The Chiefs are now fifth in EPA per play on offense and … fifth in EPA per play on defense. Patrick Mahomes made the rounds this week, telling reporters in Germany about how this is the best defense he’s ever played with. That feels statistically accurate. It is wild to think that, very likely at some point this season, the Chiefs’ defense will be of slightly more value in terms of opponent EPA than the Chiefs’ offense will in total EPA.

— Conor Orr


Pro Football Talk: 4

(up from 5)

The defense is saving the offense, on a regular basis.

— Mike Florio


CBSSports.com: 4

(up from 6)

The defense has really played well this season and showed it against Miami. The offense? It still doesn’t have the Patrick Mahomes feel to it.

— Pete Prisco


Fox Sports: 3

(unchanged from 3)

Let’s stop wringing our hands about the Chiefs offense and start giving props to this Kansas City defense. There are so many young, fun dudes on this unit, and it’s got to be exciting for Patrick Mahomes that he doesn’t have to play like an MVP to stack together wins. When the offense does finally start clicking consistently, it’s going to be a scary combination.

— David Helman


Yahoo! Sports: 3

(down from 2)

The Chiefs’ offense scored 14 points against the Dolphins and was shut out in the second half. They were fortunate that the defense came up big, including a huge fumble recovery for a touchdown late in the first half. Kansas City’s defense is as good as it has been in the entire Patrick Mahomes era. But we’re a half of a season in, and we have to start wondering if the offense is going to catch up.

— Frank Schwab


The Sporting News: 3

(up from 4)

The Chiefs’ offense isn’t a well-oiled machine between Patrick Mahomes’ passing and inconsistent running, especially when Travis Kelce is contained. But luckily, Chris Jones and the defense keep taking care of business.

— Vinnie Iyer


USA Today: 3

(unchanged from 3)

Currently the AFC’s top-seeded club (again), K.C. also hits its bye ahead of Week 11’s Super Bowl rematch at Arrowhead against Philadelphia. The reigning AFC champs are surrendering just 15.9 points per game, lowest of the 11-season Andy Reid era.

Nate Davis

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