Respected NFL Pundit Puts Chiefs Below AFC West Rival in Power Rankings

Getty Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

The Kansas City Chiefs AFC West Rivals — the Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, and Los Angeles Chargers — have done their equal share of putting their teams one step closer to a championship run. However, we don’t know how those moves will definitively affect each team, because zero games for the 2022 season have been played yet.

But that didn’t stop Peter King of NBC Sports from positioning the Chiefs below the Chargers in his 2022 power rankings.

Here are the top 10 teams in King’s power rankings, which are found in his weekly “Football Morning in America” column:

  1. Buffalo Bills
  2. Los Angeles Chargers
  3. Kansas City Chiefs
  4. Los Angeles Rams
  5. Green Bay Packers
  6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  7. Cincinnati Bengals
  8. Baltimore Ravens
  9. Philadelphia Eagles
  10. San Francisco 49ers

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King gave an explanation for ranking the Chiefs where he did.

“At a loss where to put Kansas City. This has all the feel of a get-right season. Two huge pieces of KC’s puzzle, Tyreek Hill and Tyrann Mathieu, left in trade and free agency, both after GM Brett Veach calculated that, all things considered, the team long-term would be better by moving on from them. That sounds great for future free-agent acquisitions and re-signing his own players, but Veach understands that the offense could take a step back without Hill’s explosiveness and the defense could too without the leadership and guile of Mathieu,” King wrote.

“The trade of Hill (plus other picks as ammo) brought cornerback Trent McDuffie and the speedy Moore. Jettisoning Mathieu made room for 25-year-old strong safety Justin Reid in free agency. Moore is 21. Reid is 25. McDuffie is 21. For Kansas City, this offseason has been as much about 2024 as 2022. It’ll be up to Mahomes to win some games with his golden arm to prove this is not a gap year. I think he can do it, even in the toughest division in football, even if the Chargers, for one year, pass them in the standings”

King Joins List of Pundits Downplaying Chiefs

As is the way during the offseason, many NFL pundits — which now includes King — are hoisting up Kansas City’s AFC West opponents while downplaying the Chiefs in the process.

Granted, King did have the Chiefs ranked as the third-best team in the NFL. But the Chargers don’t have a consistent track record of beating Kansas City in recent history, which makes them undeserving of a higher ranking.

This offseason, the Broncos traded for quarterback Russell Wilson. The Chargers traded for edge rusher Khalil Mack and signed cornerback J.C. Jackson. The Raiders traded for wide receiver Davante Adams and signed defensive end Chandler Jones. Meanwhile, the Chiefs traded away Tyreek Hill and made several other less-sexy moves that put them in contention for yet another division title and championship run in 2022.

Kansas City signed safety Justin Reid, receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and running back Ronald Jones II, to name a few. They also used several of their 12 draft picks this year on the likes of cornerback Trent McDuffie, receiver Skyy Moore, linebacker Leo Chanel, and offensive lineman Darian Kinnard.

Bundle those names with Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Chris Jones, and Andy Reid, and the Chiefs still have one of the most competitive rosters in the NFL. It’s a roster that deserves to be a presumed winner over any of Kansas City’s AFC West opponents until proven otherwise thanks to recent history.

Chiefs Shifting to OTAs Ahead of Memorial Day Weekend

Next up on Kansas City’s offseason schedule is organized team activities (OTAs) from May 25 to 26. After a three-day break, the team will meet again for more OTAs from May 31 to June 2. Their last set of OTAs will be from June 7 to 10.

After OTAs, the last time the Chiefs meet before summer break will be for mandatory minicamp from June 14 to 16.


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