The Chiefs emphatically ended a two-game losing streak last week with a blowout win at Denver.
It came at a cost as star quarterback Patrick Mahomes was injured, which national NFL writers took note of when making their weekly power rankings.
How the injury will affect the Chiefs, however, is being viewed differently by the pundits.
Here is where the Chiefs, 5-2, were placed in nine NFL power rankings and what people were saying about Kansas City and Mahomes.
The Chiefs moved up two spots to No. 7 in rankings from Frank Schwab of Yahoo Sports. He wrote about Mahomes: “There’s no real reason to rush Patrick Mahomes back. The rest of the AFC West is awful; nobody is going to challenge the Chiefs no matter who is playing quarterback. There’s no realistic chance the Chiefs get the No. 1 seed in the AFC anymore The only thought now should be getting Mahomes healthy and figuring out how to peak in January.”
Mark Maske of the Washington Post bumped the Chiefs up two spots to No. 12. Here is what he wrote: “The news about Patrick Mahomes’ knee injury wasn’t as bad as it could have been, given the optimism that he will return to play this season. But Mahomes and the Chiefs should be very careful. His future is too bright and he is too indispensable to the franchise and the league to take any unnecessary risks in pursuit of short-term gains.”
Dan Hanzus dropped the Chiefs one spot to No. 8. This is part of what he wrote: “Deep exhale, Chiefs fans. We’re told Patrick Mahomes avoided the kind of major knee injury that would have ended his (and the Chiefs’) season. Mahomes missing time isn’t great news, obviously, but considering how grim things appeared as the MVP writhed on the turf at Mile High last Thursday, this feels like a blessing. ... Spinning forward in a Matt Moore world, Kansas City has home games against the Packers and Vikings, followed by road games against the Titans and Chargers before a Week 12 bye. The Chiefs aren’t constructed to thrive without their star QB the way the Saints have, but they’ll have to find a way to survive.”
The Chiefs dropped four spots in the USA Today ranking. Nate Davis wrote: “Welp ... it appears season is in the hands of a pair of Miami castoffs (Matt Moore and, soon, Chad Henne) and Vandy’s undrafted Kyle Shurmur.”
The Chiefs were ranked fifth by ESPN, which moved KC up one spot. ESPN looked at each team’s recalibrated goals. For the Chiefs, it was still winning the Super Bowl. This is part of what Adam Teicher wrote: “The injury to Patrick Mahomes is an obstacle the Chiefs weren’t counting on, but given that he’s going to return well before the playoffs, the Chiefs can still realize their goal of reaching and winning the Super Bowl. That task is going to be more difficult than it otherwise might have been and will depend greatly on how the Chiefs fare until Mahomes is back.”
The Chiefs moved up one slot to No. 6 in the rankings from Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News. This is what he wrote: “The Chiefs will be without Patrick Mahomes for a while, but they regained much-needed defensive confidence for the long haul with the big blowout win in Denver. Now they’ll need to rely on Matt Moore at home to help them beat the two teams right above them in these rankings.”
The Chiefs fell one place to No. 8 in Bleacher Report’s ranking. Gary Davenport wrote: “I’ll say it. The Chiefs are finished as a Super Bowl contender. Mahomes may well be back in a few weeks, but his scrambling ability is going to be significantly hampered for the rest of the year. We just saw the Chiefs drop two straight while Mahomes hobbled around on a bad ankle. The 2018 MVP just isn’t the same player when robbed of his ability to improvise, and that ability is not coming back any time soon. It didn’t matter against an awful Denver team … but it will against teams like Houston, Baltimore and New England.”
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports kept the Chiefs at No. 12. Here is what he wrote: “They will find out for while what it’s like to be without Patrick Mahomes, who dislocated his kneecap. It’s Matt Moore time for now, starting with a tough Sunday night game against the Packers.”
New York Post
The Chiefs were pushed down one spot to No. 8 in the rankings from Peter Botte of the New York Post. This is what he wrote: “The Chiefs face tough games the next two weeks without Mahomes (dislocated kneecap) against teams above them in The Post’s rankings, Green Bay and Minnesota. The reigning league MVP’s injury isn’t considered season-ending, but can Matt Moore win enough games to keep the Chiefs atop the AFC West race until Mahomes returns?”