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NFL power rankings Week 16 roundup: the Chiefs are all over the place

Where does Kansas City rank in this week’s rankings from around the country?

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Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

After the Kansas City Chiefs dropped four of six games — and followed that with a 27-17 victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday — the team’s power rankings from around the country are pretty inconsistent, ranging from third to ninth. Some observers see a squad that is working its way back. Others see a team that is a shadow of its former self.

Here’s this week’s sampling:


NFL.com: 6

(unchanged from 6)

This didn’t feel like a great win, no matter how you spin it. Yes, Bill Belichick has a good record vs. Andy Reid. Yes, it was in New England. And yeah, the Patriots were coming off a rare win. But they have been a bad team far more than a good one this season, and the Chiefs almost let them back in the game late despite New England moving the ball more than 29 yards on a drive only twice. Kadarius Toney had another maddening mistake, dropping a pass that led to a pick. It’s like Week 1 all over again, and it came on the heels of Toney’s infamous offensive offside penalty. Travis Kelce dropped a TD. Rashee Rice had a big game, but also had a critical penalty early. The running backs in place of Isiah Pacheco and the defense were Kansas City’s saviors in another game lacking in artistic merit.

— Eric Edholm


ESPN: 7

(unchanged from 7)

We’re No. 1... in sack percentage.

The Chiefs bring down the opposing quarterback on 8.8% of dropbacks, which is tied with the Dolphins for the best percentage in the league. The pass rush has been a consistent factor for the Chiefs, who are no longer dependent on Chris Jones to have a big game. Jones is second on the team in sacks with 7.5, which is 1.5 behind George Karlaftis. Three others have at least 4.5 sacks, and 15 players have at least a half-sack.

Adam Teicher


The Athletic: 8

(down from 6)

Surprise: How hard it has been

Kansas City guaranteed its 11th straight winning record under Andy Reid, but it wasn’t without more drama. Kadarius Toney dropped a pass that turned into an interception, and the Patriots led 10-7 until the final minute of the first half. The defending Super Bowl champion is the No. 3 seed in the AFC right now. The good news is rookie receiver Rashee Rice had his fourth straight game with at least seven catches and 64 yards to take some of the pressure off Travis Kelce.

— Josh Kendall


Sports Illustrated: 3

(up from 5)

At the very least, it was nice to see Andy Reid and Matt Nagy in their bags again, running some cool screen passes to Clyde Edwards-Helaire and whatever the heck you want to call Jerick McKinnon’s toss-sweep touchdown. It’s going to be absolutely necessary for Kansas City to negate its receiver problems, which reared heads again with another awful Kadarius Toney drop. Toney, and the rest of this receiving corps, need some time to repair some clearly bruised headspace. The question is: will they get it?

— Conor Orr


Pro Football Talk: 7

(unchanged from 7)

As long as they have No. 15, they’re a threat to win it all.

— Mike Florio


CBSSports.com: 4

(up from 6)

They snapped a two-game losing streak by beating the Patriots, which was badly needed. Now they have a soft schedule to close out the season. The AFC’s top seed could still be theirs.

— Pete Prisco


Fox Sports: 9

(unchanged from 9)

I’m sorry if I’m not impressed the Chiefs won in forgettable fashion against one of the league’s worst teams. We still saw so many of the same miscues that have plagued their offense all year. The good news for them is the last three games look about as easy as it gets, so there’s still lots of time to improve.

— David Helman


Yahoo! Sports: 7

(unchanged from 7)

Patrick Mahomes was excellent on Sunday. He still had to deal with a drop by Kadarius Toney that led to an interception, and he didn’t seem too happy about it, but that’s part of the package when you have Toney as a big part of your offense.

— Frank Schwab


The Sporting News: 6

(unchanged from 6)

The Chiefs didn’t care about style points against the Patriots but a funny thing happened: They rose to the occasion with their offensive scheming when challenged more and ended up scoring plenty of Chiefs-like points. Also, their defense can almost carry them at times.

— Vinnie Iyer


USA Today: 5

(unchanged from 5)

Sunday was QB Patrick Mahomes’ first game with at least 300 passing yards since October 22, all the more impressive given TE Travis Kelce’s modest output (28 yards).

Nate Davis

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