In The MMQB's midseason NFL Power Rankings Poll, the Kansas City Chiefs have landed where they began the year: holding the top spot. Even with the Pittsburgh Steelers' undefeated record, the voters — Albert Breer, Andrew Brandt, Gary Gramling, Mitch Goldich, Conor Orr and Jenny Vrentas — have given the Chiefs top billing.
Here's what the crew had to say about the 8-1 Chiefs as they head into a bye week.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (8–1)
Points in poll: 188
Highest-place vote: 1 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 2 (4)
Last week: Win vs. Carolina 33–31
Next week: Bye
The Steelers may be undefeated, but the defending champs remain dangerous. They get to our unofficial midpoint at 8–1, with Patrick Mahomes playing as well as ever. The defense can be vulnerable, but any playoff foe will have to outscore them. Good luck!
The Chiefs actually got one less first-place vote than the Steelers, who had three, but the entire crew agreed that the Chiefs were a top-two team, while the Steelers ranged from first to fifth on the ballots.
In their discussion of the Steelers, the crew notes the importance of the lone first-round bye that each conference gives to their top-seeded team, and the Chiefs will have to make up at least one game on Pittsburgh in the second half of the year. However, following the Steelers' narrow 24-19 victory over the Dallas Cowboys last weekend, Pittsburgh may be beginning to lose its shine.
The next member of the AFC West doesn't show up until No. 14 with the Las Vegas Raiders, thanks in part to their victory over the Chiefs. The Los Angeles Chargers are next at No. 21, leaving the Denver Broncos bringing up the rear of the division at No. 24.