The Chiefs and Steelers are fighting for the top spot in NFL Power Rankings.
The latest round of NFL Power Rankings are out with Week 11’s action in the books, and the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs are jostling for position at the top of nearly every media outlet’s list of the best teams in the league.
On Sunday night, the Chiefs withstood a strong performance on the part of the Las Vegas Raiders offense—who were aiming for a shocking season sweep of their division rivals in the AFC West. However, Patrick Mahomes worked his magic in primetime and led the Chiefs to their ninth win of the season—and a three-game lead in the West.
Technically the Steelers have the best record in football at 10-0, but some voters remain bigger believers in the defending Super Bowl champs than Ben Roethlisberger’s undefeated squad. Let’s survey the field of NFL Power Rankings to see how voters are ranking the league’s elite teams.
Matt Verderame keeps it short and simple when he writes, “The best team in football. Patrick Mahomes is a magician.” It’s not complicated when the defending Super Bowl champs are 9-1.
Sports Ilustrated has the Chiefs at No. 1 with the Steelers and then New Orleans Saints. It’s clear that, for writer Gary Gramling, nothing else matters when you’re the defending champs. Until you’ve been proven to not be the champ, even an unbeaten record won’t elevate a team above second place. Gramling writes:
"The defense has allowed 30-plus points in back-to-back games, which would be a problem for a non-Mahomes team. K.C. has won 18 of 19 (including postseason). They’re going to win the Super Bowl again and when they do, try to look surprised."
Prisco knows the Chiefs are obviously good, as he has them at No. 2, but he also mentions their defense as as potential issue, which is also obvious but it’s important to note here. The Chiefs defense found their rhythm about this point last season and went on to a nice Super Bowl run. This year, the defense seems to be unravelling at the wrong time, with the team’s pass rush completely disappearing in primetime.
The panel of ESPN experts have the Steelers and Chiefs at No. 1 and 2, respectively, which stays true to the ranking that both teams had last week. Clearly the AFC is the supreme conference here, but until Pittsburgh is knocked off, ESPN is likely to keep things this way.
Yahoo has things opposite of ESPN with the Chiefs ranked over the Steelers for consecutive weeks. This week, Schwab points out Mahomes’ presence as key for the defending champs.
"We really don’t need to have MVP conversations anymore. Patrick Mahomes is the MVP until further notice. All other discussions regarding other players being in the race are just time-wasters."
The NFL staff for Bleacher Report came together to vote the Chiefs at No. 1 although their system also shows the range of votes. The lowest any writer had the Chiefs was at No. 2 overall. The same can be said of the Steelers, although reversed, with at least one writer voting them for first. However, the overall result was the Chiefs at the top after Week 11.