Steelers Move Up To No. 13 In Pro Football Talk Power Rankings

Following the Pittsburgh Steelers Week 1 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, the team moved up three spots to No. 13 in Mike Florio’s weekly power rankings at Pro Football Talk. Florio is positive about the Steelers’ chances over the next few weeks, as well.

“They’ve got a chance to take a 4-0 record to Buffalo in Week Five,” he wrote about Pittsburgh.

The No. 13 ranking was the third-best in the AFC North, behind the Ravens (No. 6) and Bengals (No. 7). Florio has the Steelers ahead of their next three opponents, as the New England Patriots came in at No. 20, a three-spot drop from their initial rankings, while the Cleveland Browns were ranked No. 16 and the New York Jets are at the bottom of the pack at No. 32.

Even without T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh should have a good chance against all three of those teams. New England has been in total disarray due to the inexplicable decision to not hire an offensive coordinator and split that duty between Joe Judge and Matt Patricia, who while both former NFL Head Coaches, have never had play-calling duties.

The result was a predictable mess in a 20-7 Week 1 loss against the Miami Dolphins. New England’s starting quarterback, Mac Jones, also is dealing with back spasms that could limit his participation throughout the week, although he is expected to play on Sunday. While the Patriots are favored by a point, I would count on Pittsburgh’s defense to take over again.

Beyond Week 2, the Steelers travel to Cleveland on a short week to play Jacoby Brissett and the Browns on Thursday Night Football, another winnable game, before playing host to the Jets in Week 4, where they’ll see either Joe Flacco or Zach Wilson at quarterback. Given what Pittsburgh’s defense just did to Joe Burrow, who is widely regarded to be one of the best quarterbacks in football, Florio’s optimism of a 4-0 start is understandable given that the next few quarterbacks Pittsburgh faces aren’t exactly a murderers row.

Regardless, the Steelers are going to need more out of their offense. The lack of push in the run game limited what the team was able to do offensively, and there were far too many third down and short yardage situations that the team failed to take advantage of. Staying undefeated takes more than just good play from one side of the play, and the Steelers offense is going to have to pick it up for that 4-0 record to happen.

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