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NFL power rankings Week 14 roundup: Chiefs take a blow

Let’s see where the Chiefs are ranked in this week’s lists of the top NFL teams.

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Kansas City Chiefs v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

As you might have expected after their 27-19 loss to the Green Bay Packers in front of a national audience on Sunday night, the Kansas City Chiefs took a hit in every one of the power rankings we’re following.

Here’s this week’s sampling: 6

(down from 4)

You can gripe about officiating — it’s your afforded right! — but for uncomfortably long stretches Sunday night, Patrick Mahomes was throwing some funny-looking passes, and the defense was getting worked over. That’s a few games now where Steve Spagnuolo’s unit has put Kansas City in a two-score hole early and asked a struggling offense to bail the team out. It worked against the Raiders, but not against the Packers. In the past, this wasn’t such a big worry, but now it is. I was surprised the Chiefs didn’t run the ball more Sunday night. They averaged 6.3 yards per carry in the first half and 5.7 in the second. Isiah Pacheco was the best K.C. performer on a night when Mahomes was off and Travis Kelce (four receptions) was the only Chief able to catch a pass longer than 16 yards. Does Mahomes need to be nearly flawless for Kansas City to have a shot in the playoffs? It sort of feels that way.

— Eric Edholm


(down from 4)

Pleasant surprise: WR Rashee Rice

Rice, the Chiefs’ 2023 second-round draft pick, has been the team’s best wide receiver so far this season. He leads the Chiefs’ wideouts by significant margins in catches (52), yards (591) and touchdowns (five). The Chiefs entered the season thinking Rice would be more of a developmental player, but with many of their other wide receivers being unproductive, they had to speed up his developmental schedule, and he has delivered.

Adam Teicher

The Athletic: 7

(down from 3)

Worst case: Patrick Mahomes can’t do it all alone

It sure looked like he could when Kansas City won the Super Bowl the year after trading Tyreek Hill, but the Chiefs slipped to 11th in the league in scoring Sunday (22.9 ppg). The Chiefs have scored fewer than 20 points in six games this season. That happened only six times total in Mahomes’ first five seasons as the starter. Inconsistency at receiver is the main culprit. Justin Watson, a fifth-round pick by Tampa Bay in 2018 who signed as a low-money free agent in the offseason, is the second-leading wide receiver with 332 yards on 20 catches.

— Josh Kendall

Sports Illustrated: 5

(down from 3)

I greatly enjoyed the pass interference no-call at the end of this game, if only because it sums up what we discussed above so well: the NFL can’t even legislate the big games and the big moments. Here’s a player chokeholding another receiver and jumping on his back and not drawing a flag. What are we doing here?

— Conor Orr

Pro Football Talk: 7

(down from 4)

Patrick Mahomes might finally play a road playoff game.

— Mike Florio 6

(down from 3)

They aren’t the same offense we’ve come to expect, which shows up weekly. They are now out of the top seed in the conference.

— Pete Prisco

Fox Sports: 7

(down from 4)

The Packers are surging, but Kansas City still shouldn’t be losing games to a .500 team. The Chiefs’ offensive issues are real, regardless of whether they want to blame officiating. Will they be real enough to waste the best defense to ever complement Patrick Mahomes? We’ll see in early 2024.

— David Helman

Yahoo! Sports: 7

(down from 3)

Amazingly enough, the Chiefs have played 16 playoff games since their last true road playoff game, which was at the end of the 2015 season. Maybe that changes this postseason. Kansas City’s shot at the No. 1 seed took a big hit with the loss to the Packers. The Chiefs have the worst record among the AFC division leaders with five games to go. They’re practically a lock to win the AFC West and get one home game, but the rest of their playoff path might come on the road.

— Frank Schwab

The Sporting News: 6

(down from 3)

The Chiefs’ offense is now morphing into a reliable rushing team with consistent major questions about downfield passing when not working to the tight ends or the slot. Patrick Mahomes is doing his best but some of his receivers and offensive linemen have been letdowns. Kansas City cannot expect its defense to come through in every game.

— Vinnie Iyer

USA Today: 5

(down from 3)

Concerning trends? The next loss will tie for their most in the regular season since QB Patrick Mahomes became the starter in 2018. This is the first time that the defense has outranked the offense since 2015. And Sunday was K.C.’s first loss with Taylor Swift in attendance. Panic. Button.

Nate Davis

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