The Pittsburgh Steelers would probably have to be one of the most difficult teams to get a true read on this offseason, because so much of it has simply to do with what you think about what will happen with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who continues to work on rehabbing his elbow, which he had surgically reported last fall.
I supposed there could be teams with greater variability, though. After all, the Steelers managed to finish in the middle of the pack even without Roethlisberger last season—in fact, going 8-6 without him—so with the defense returning, they shouldn’t really fall far out of the middle of the pack regardless of what opinions are of the quarterback position.
And that’s where Pro Football Focus placed the team in its latest power ranking list, dubbed, appropriately, ‘too early’. It is the middle of April, after all, in one of the most bizarre offseasons in NFL history, still with the draft to take place and an indefinite future on the horizon.
Anyway, long story short, the site sees the Steelers ranked 15 among the league’s 32 teams as we stand here today, though their blurb doesn’t say much of substance, merely noting that they lost their first three and last three, but had the second-best defense in between, and also highlighting the addition of Minkah Fitzpatrick.
As for the rest of the division, the Baltimore Ravens were ranked second, as should be no surprise, behind the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. The Ravens finished 14-2 last season with the best record in football, yet in spite of that, would go on to fall in the Divisional Round following their bye week.
You may either be happy or indifferent to know that the Cleveland Browns do fall behind the Steelers, in fact ranked only 22nd in the league after finishing the 2019 season 6-10. They believe they have the right man for the job at quarterback now, but that Baker Mayfield has some work to do.
The Cincinnati Bengals, who have the top pick in the draft, aren’t actually ranked last, but 28th, with Jacksonville, Washington, the Giants, and Miami behind them. But they are pretty much already accounting for Joe Burrow in their rankings.