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Kansas City Chiefs

Chiefs are No. 1, Pat Mahomes zeroes in on MVP

1. Kansas City (11-2)

Pat Mahomes pretty much locked up the MVP with with overtime win over Baltimore and a ridiculous cross-body throw that violated every fundamental of quarterback play in a wonderful way.

Last week: 2 Next: L.A. Chargers

2. New Orleans (11-2)

Nice bounce back after seeing its offense dominated by Dallas. Can pretty much put the Panthers out of their misery with road win this week.

Last week: 3 Next: at Carolina

3. L.A. Rams (11-2)

Bears loss is a little disconcerting, given the way Rams offense got manhandled. A disappointing finish a year ago, and it’s not out of the question it could happen again.

Last week: 1 Next: Philadelphia

4. L.A. Chargers (10-3)

Going to Arrowhead without their top two running backs in Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler is far from ideal. Philip Rivers may have to throw it 50 times.

Last week: 6 Next: at Kansas City

5. New England (9-4)

Lucky for the Patriots that Miami isn’t going to be a post-season opponent, because the place is kryptonite for Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.

Last week: 4 Next: at Pittsburgh

6. Chicago (9-4)

Looks as if they’ll lap the field in terms of divisional dominance. Still not buying Mitchell Trubisky as a championship level quarterback.

Last week: 7 Next: Green Bay

7. Seattle (8-5)

Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack are incredible, but are we absolutely certain that the best defensive player in the NFL isn’t Seahawks’ linebacker Bobby Wagner?

Last week: 8 Next: at 49ers

8. Houston (9-4)

Got taken down a peg by Andrew Luck and the Colts after nine consecutive wins. Important to prove they can put an also-ran like the Jets out of their misery.

Last week: 5 Next: at N.Y. Jets

9. Dallas (8-5)

Dak Prescott’s passer rating was 81.3 without Amari Cooper and 107.7 in games in which Cooper has been with the Cowboys. But here’s the weird part. Derek Carr’s passer rating is 89.4 with Cooper and 105.4 without him.

Last week: 10 Next: at Indianapolis

10. Baltimore (7-6)

Mum’s the word from Jim Harbaugh whether his quarterback will be Lamar Jackson or Joe Flacco. Would have to think you’d want the pocket passer off the bench in case it’s a come-from-behind situation, right?

Last week: 11 Next: Tampa Bay

11. Indianapolis (7-6)

I know there’s lots of sentiment for J.J Watt, but it says here Andrew Luck is the runaway winner for the NFL’s comeback player of the year.

Last week: 12 Next: Dallas

12. Tennessee (7-6)

The goal-line stand and subsequent 99-yard run by Derrick Henry against Jacksonville could be the sequence that puts the Titans in the playoffs when all is said and done.

Last week: 16 Next: at N.Y. Giants

13. Pittsburgh (7-5-1)

Ben Roethlisberger blames faulty X-ray equipment at Coliseum for his delayed re-entry in upset loss to Raiders. How convenient.

Last week: 9 Next: New England

14. Miami (7-6)

To think I was critical of Adam Gase as a play-caller in this space a week ago. Dialed up a hook-and-lateral that took down Belichick, of all people.

Last week: 18 Next: at Minnesota

15. Minnesota (6-6-1)

John DeFilippo goes from QB coach of Super Bowl champion to hot coordinator candidate and potential future head coach to out of a job. When the $84 million QB doesn’t produce, someone else has to pay.

Last week: 13 Next: Miami

16. Philadelphia (6-7)

Eagles get their chance to seriously get back in the NFC East rate and then get torched by Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper. Defense is awful when it matters.

Last week: 14 Next: at L.A. Rams

17. N.Y. Giants (5-8)

Have won four of their last five games and offensive rookie of the year shoe-in Saquon Barkley has 538 yards rushing in his last four games.

Last week: 26 Next: at Washington

18. Green Bay (5-7-1)

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