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Chiefs, Saints are 1-2 after wild weekend of upsets – The Denver Post

Each week, national NFL writer Mark Maske ranks the league’s 32 teams. This week, there’s a shakeup after a topsy-turvy weekend. The two top teams in last week’s rankings lost, and the bottom three teams won. The Chiefs ascend to No. 1. The Saints move up to second. The Chargers leap over their fellow L.A. franchise, the Rams. The Cowboys and Bears move up, and the Patriots drop from second to seventh after the Miami Miracle. The Texans and Steelers also fall.

1. Kansas City Chiefs (11-2) | Last Week’s Rank: 3

Patrick Mahomes probably reclaimed front-runner status in the league MVP chase with his crunch-time exploits in Sunday’s victory over the Ravens. The Chiefs now are in very good position to secure the AFC’s top postseason seed, even if they stumble Thursday night against the Chargers. The potential return of safety Eric Berry would be a major boost for the defense.

2. New Orleans Saints (11-2) | Last Week’s Rank: 4

The Saints finally shrugged off their recent malaise by coming from behind to win in Tampa. They’re back in the poll position for the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs, thanks to the Rams’ loss in Chicago. But the Saints cannot afford any more missteps.

3. Los Angeles Chargers (10-3) | Last Week’s Rank: 6

Are the Chargers now the best NFL team in L.A.? Possibly so, based on current level of play. But to keep it that way, they must go to Kansas City and win Thursday night, and that’s not easy.

4. Los Angeles Rams (11-2) | Last Week’s Rank: 1

The temptation was to drop the Rams even further, behind the Cowboys and Bears. After all, they lost to the Bears and the Cowboys are playing even better than the Bears are. For now, the Rams get the benefit of the doubt and the loss Sunday night in Chicago will be partially forgiven as an aberration. But it was worrisome to see the L.A. offense shut down so completely this close to the postseason in a very meaningful game.

5. Dallas Cowboys (8-5) | Last Week’s Rank: 7

It’s easy to make fun of Jerry Jones and say that his tinkering on the football side of the operation has kept the Cowboys from recapturing their past glories. But give him credit: His trade for wide receiver Amari Cooper turned around the season, and now the Cowboys are about to win the NFC East.

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