Hey guys, it’s that time again. It’s time for largely arbitrary power rankings and similar fun things such as that. It’s a ubiquitous feature of the quiet periods of the offseason, especially between the draft and minicamp, and then between the end of minicamp and the start of training camp.
We are beginning to see them pop up now, and ESPN just published one yesterday, which saw the Pittsburgh Steelers placed fourth, behind the Patriots and Falcons, who reached the Super Bowl, and the Packers, who reached the NFC Championship game. So in other words, the final four teams from last season are on top of the power rankings. Way to go out on a limb…though they may not be wrong.
Speaking of the Steelers, Dan Graziano writes, “the Steelers’ biggest offseason addition might be a guy they already had. If Martavis Bryant can stay off suspension, the offense gets even more dynamic and next offseason’s Ben Roethlisberger retirement hints become a little bit easier to handle”.
The Steelers actually moved up one spot from…whenever the site did their first power ranking, where they previously placed fifth. ESPN moved them ahead of the Cowboys for the time being, who fell to fifth, presumably citing the fact that they lost both of their starting cornerbacks in free agency, which admittedly does sound like kind of a big deal.
In case you were wondering, nobody else in the AFC North fared very well. The Ravens were ranked 16th by Graziano, who notes that it’s “fine” to spend your first four picks on defense “when you have to play the Steelers twice a season”, but he adds, “are they seeing something in this wide receiver corps that the rest of us aren’t? Like, for instance, wide receivers?”. Frankly, I’ve been making the same point.
The Bengals were next within the division, finishing all the way in 23nd, who stayed put. The Ravens, by the way, were previously ranked 11th. The obvious note on Cincinnati was the loss of their two best offensive linemen after having a losing season.
It’s probably no shock that the Browns placed last in the league, 32nd. “When you can triple your previous season’s win total and still have a good shot at the No. 1 overall pick, you’re in a…good spot?”, he writes. Graziano notes that they “got three fun players in the first round of the draft”, yet they’re still ranked behind the 49ers, Jets, Bears, Lions, Rams…and, well, everybody else.
So the Steelers are fourth in the power rankings, at least according to one outlet. Doesn’t exactly mean a whole lot, beyond generally confirming the view that the Steelers are perceived as a strong contender this upcoming season, which is nothing that we didn’t already know.