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Post Super Bowl, NFL Power Rankings:

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  • Post Super Bowl, NFL Power Rankings:

    Rank 1 Chiefs (15-4)
    The Chiefs are on top of the pro football world after -- spoiler alert -- winning Super Bowl LIV on Sunday night. Kansas City ended its season on a nine-game winning streak, and Patrick Mahomes has won a league MVP award and a Super Bowl MVP across two seasons as a starter. Yes, these are the good days. Best of all for the Chiefs: They will retain their nucleus of dynamic talent around their superstar QB for the coming title defense in 2020. Here's an insane stat, courtesy of NFL Media Research: Mahomes was 5-0 this season (including playoffs) when trailing by 10-plus points at any point in the game. The Chiefs are the first team to win the Super Bowl after trailing by 10-plus points in every one of their playoff games ... and they won all three games by more than 10 points. Special, special stuff.

    Rank 18, Broncos (7-9)
    The Broncos have now missed the playoffs in four consecutive years, that dry run coming directly off the heels of a stretch in which Denver qualified for the playoffs five straight times and won a Super Bowl. In 2020, the pressure will be on to get this one-time model of consistency back on track. Enter John Elway, the general manager who will have a lot of holes to fill but an estimated 12 draft picks and plenty of cap space with which to do it. (Consider the Broncos an early favorite to "win the offseason" come this spring.) One internal roster decision yet to be made: Should the Broncos dole out big money to keep cornerback Chris Harris? The former All-Pro is entering his age-31 season, but he's head and shoulders above every other cover man in the Denver secondary.

    Rank 22 Raiders (7-9)
    Jon Gruden is known to have a wandering eye when it comes to his starting quarterback, so perhaps Derek Carr should hold off on buying property in the Las Vegas area at this time. Carr set career highs in passing yards (4,054) and completion percentage (70.4) in his second season under Gruden, but his sometimes conservative nature can test a coach's patience. What kind of move would help Carr (or whomever is under center come September)? Finding a true No. 1 wide receiver. The Raiders made big gains on offense in 2019 -- are we talking about one of the best attacks in football if Antonio Brown would have been able to keep it together? Would we even be debating Carr's future? If Gruden stays the course at QB, he should do Carr a solid and give him a playmaker he can make magic with on the outside.

    Rank 25 Chargers (5-11)
    Officially, the Chargers have not decided as to whether Philip Rivers will be back with the team, but all signs point to the end of this marriage. If the Bolts do indeed decide to move on, they'll have to do better than Tyrod Taylor (a perfectly serviceable backup, mind you) if they hope to contend and spark the imagination of the Los Angeles area as they move into vast SoFi Stadium this fall. We're seeing more and more how a mobile quarterback can tilt the field for offenses. After a few years of Philip Rivers' statue-in-the-pocket routine, you could see why Anthony Lynn might view Tua Tagovailoa as a tantalizing option with the No. 6 overall pick. The problem, of course, is the team just ahead of the Bolts, both in the draft order and these power rankings. Could general manager Tom Telesco make an aggressive move up the draft board to jump in front of the Fins? Let the games begin.

    Patriots at 08 (12-5)
    Steelers at 16 (8-8)
    Bears at 17 (8-8)
    Lions at 32 (3-12-1)

    Call me an optimist, but I can see Denver moving into the top-10 by midseason.