AFC Power Rankings: Who are Kansas City Chiefs' biggest competition?

AFC Divisional Playoffs - Cincinnati Bengals v Buffalo Bills
AFC Divisional Playoffs - Cincinnati Bengals v Buffalo Bills / Bryan M. Bennett/GettyImages
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The Long Shot Playoff Teams

12. Denver Broncos

Average Rank: 12.08
High Ranking: 10
Low Ranking: 14

I was a little surprised that more rankings didn't give the Broncos a bigger Sean Payton bump in their rankings. Yes, they were a complete dumpster fire last season, but their defense is solid and they have some weapons around Russell Wilson. Their coaching on offense last season was just as embarrassing as Wilson's play, so if Payton can fix that and Wilson plays just a little better it isn't crazy to think they could contend for a wild card spot.

11. New England Patriots

Average Rank: 11.42
High Ranking: 10
Low Ranking: 13

The Patriots' spot in the power rankings I looked at was incredibly consistent. Every ranking had them outside of the playoffs, but better than the bottom-feeder teams. This season all comes down to what Bill O'Brien can do with the offense and Mac Jones. After the disastrous situation at OC last season, if they make a significant improvement there the playoffs are within reach because it's safe to assume Bill Belichick's defense will be reliable on the other side of the ball.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers

Average Rank: 9.58
High Ranking: 6
Low Ranking: 11

With the exception of one ranking that had them at six, the other eleven rankings all had the Steelers in the 9-11 range. So much like the Patriots, the Steelers are widely viewed as a team that's not at the bottom of the conference but is just outside the playoff teams. If they get a little better offensive line play this season and Kenny Pickett takes a step forward, they could absolutely make a playoff run.

9. Cleveland Browns

Average Rank: 8.83
High Ranking: 6
Low Ranking: 11

There were a handful of rankings that believe the Browns are a playoff team, with three of the 12 rankings having them in the 6/7 range. Half the rankings had them in this exact spot at number nine and that feels right to me. I feel like they have a lot more to prove than the five teams in the next tier up.

This next tier is where the rankings were all over the place.