No one is quite sure where to put the K.C. Chiefs in the pecking order of the National Football League’s greatest teams. Following a shocking loss to the Baltimore Ravens, the Chiefs have fallen, as expected, in the latest round of NFL Power Rankings before Week 3. The test for voters is this: Just how far should the Chiefs fall?
Yes, the Chiefs are 1-1, which should drop them behind a number of teams who remain undefeated—at least that’s how it should be on the surface. But the Chiefs were such heavy favorites entering the season to once again tame the AFC and they’re led by some of the league’s very best players (and coaches) that it makes it hard to drop them after one loss.
Let’s also be honest about the state of that loss. If the Chiefs don’t cough up the fumble at the last second, we’re likely celebrating a Harrison Butker game-winning field goal and talking about an unbeaten Chiefs team ourselves on a day like today. The Chiefs defense played absolutely horrible—save for a couple smart plays from Tyrann Mathieu—and served up multiple offensive miscues (the fumble, the INT, the Creed Humphrey snap) and still lost by a single point on the road.
The latest NFL power rankings has the K.C. Chiefs falling to varying degrees.
But that’s all sour grapes, too. A loss is a loss and the Chiefs won several close, ugly games last season. Most of Chiefs Kingdom would agree there and know they deserve to fall.
So again, the question of how much arises.
Over at the Ringer, they are the most cruel to the Chiefs. They include them in their top tier of overall teams, but Kansas City is now No. 6 overall behind three AFC teams in the Bills, Browns, and Ravens. That’s a steep fall from No. 2.
On the flip side, ESPN docked them two spots, down from No. 1 (behind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) to No. 3, which keeps them remarkably close to the top. Other teams with unbeaten records might complain, but ESPN has a long-term view here versus a more mercurial, week-by-week approach that’s reactionary to the ins and outs of the regular season schedule.
NBC Sports agrees with ESPN has has the Chiefs at No. 3 behind the Bucs and the Los Angeles Rams, who are a sexy pick in the NFC now that they have freed Matthew Stafford from the Motor City. “The Chiefs’ defense has some real issues, especially in the red zone, that can plague them in the postseason,” writes Josh Schrock, even as he acknowledges they are the third best team in his eyes this week.
Frank Schwab of Yahoo! Sports has the Chiefs just a bit lower at No. 4—behind the Bucs, San Francisco 49ers, and Rams—and has the best summary of all. “It’s not like a loss at Baltimore is bad.” Well said, Frank.
Finally over at NFL Spin Zone, Randy Gurzi slots the Chiefs in at No. 5 overall. Gurzi writes:
"For the Chiefs, they now sit at 1-1 but they could either be 2-0 or 0-2 — depending on how you look at it. Their offense is elite but they cannot afford to make any mistakes it seems, because teams are coming at them hard."
For some, they’re still the top team in the AFC. Others have them as a contender among several in the conference. Either way, every NFL expert agrees that the NFC is the better overall conference, or at least the one with the league’s best overall franchises. Until someone in the AFC steps up and proves otherwise, Chiefs included, we can’t blame them for saying so.