Saturday, December 19, 2020

Pittsburgh Steelers Week 15 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2020 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Pittsburgh Steelers rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 5.0 (5th)
  • Best ranking: 4th (Multiple)
  • Worst ranking: 6th (Multiple)

Below you will find a Week 15 roundup for the Steelers in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 6

They traded their first-round pick to the Dolphins for Minkah Fitzpatrick, and that's worked out great. At the time, I thought it was a bad trade because I figured the Steelers were going to be terrible in 2019 without Ben Roethlisberger and were potentially giving up a top-five pick. But I should have remembered that Mike Tomlin doesn't do losing seasons. Fitzpatrick was a first-team All-Pro for the Steelers last season and has played well again in 2020. The Steelers' defense wasn't great in their loss to the Bills Sunday night, but it was their offense that really cost them. Pittsburgh had 12 offensive possessions that resulted in eight punts, two interceptions and two touchdowns. The Steelers have dropped back-to-back games after an 11-0 start and have fallen to the No. 2 seed in the AFC, which would mean no first-round bye.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 4

They haven't look good for a while, which is a concern. They do get the Bengals this week to help fix their ails.

USA Today -- Rank: 6

Given QB Ben Roethlisberger has already beaten Bengals 24 times, Pittsburgh has to feel pretty good about getting back on track Monday.

ESPN -- Rank: 4

It's no surprise that the Steelers have another highly ranked defense, with the core from last season returning. What is a surprise is that the offense, bolstered by Ben Roethlisberger's return, is only 20th in the FPI rankings. Roethlisberger and the offense were effective with the short passing game earlier in the season, especially when complemented by a well-balanced running game. But in recent weeks, the offensive line hasn't been physical enough, opposing defenses are blowing up the short passes, and the running game has evaporated. The offense is broken, yet the Steelers keep trying to force what worked earlier in the season. It's costing them games and playoff seeding. -- Brooke Pryor -- Rank: 5

The Steelers are in a certified funk. Pittsburgh has followed 11 consecutive wins to start the season with back-to-back losses, the latest a convincing 26-15 setback against the Bills on Sunday Night Football. The national audience watched the Steelers' short passing game implode as Buffalo's defense sat on routes and smothered Pittsburgh's talented collection of wide receivers. The Steelers' defense played well in the first half, but eventually faded as Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs worked impeccably to exploit soft spots in the zone. With an absentee running game and a nearly non-existent vertical attack, the Steelers have become rote and predictable on offense. Can they adjust on the fly? Is this version of Big Ben up for that challenge? The Steelers' season may depend on it.

+ Previous update: Pittsburgh Steelers Week 14 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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