In most offseason predictions, it’s the Pittsburgh Steelers on the inside looking out when it comes to the playoff picture. But even with seven teams from each conference getting in, the Steelers are on the outside looking in when it comes to the New York Post’s latest power rankings. In their list, Pittsburgh finished 15th and under the category of teams “chasing playoffs.”
Here’s what author Ryan Dunleavy wrote in his assessment of the team.
“Easy to forget they started 11-0 last season. Hard to forget about that ugly playoff loss to the Browns. Tough to say goodbye to a legend, but QB Ben Roethlisberger’s time is up.”
For the first time in their history, the Steelers started last season 11-0. But they faltered down the stretch with a one-dimensional offense and a defense that stopped producing turnovers. They went 1-4 the rest of the way, becoming the first team ever to begin a year 11-0 but finish with 12 or fewer victories. Cleveland bounced them in the Wild Card game, a humiliating loss, so it’s easy to understand why this ranking has such a negative slant towards the Steelers.
These power rankings were less kind to Pittsburgh than recent ones. Last week, NFL Network placed them just outside the top 10 at 11th overall.
In terms of the AFC North, both Baltimore and Cleveland come in ahead of the Steelers in The Post’s list. The Ravens at #4 and the Browns all the way up there at #6. Pretty sure the last time they were that high in an offseason article was when Bernie Kosar was still under center. Only the Bengals are behind the Steelers, ranking a lowly 30th ahead of the Lions and Texans.
For Pittsburgh, they’re lumped in with the likes of the Arizona Cardinals, Tennessee Titans, and one spot behind the New Orleans Saints. Teams like the Cardinals and Titans are up-and-comers. Not Pittsburgh. Here, this is them taking a big step backwards.