Friday, October 22, 2021

Pittsburgh Steelers Week 7 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2021 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: 16.4 (16th)
  • Best ranking: 15th (ESPN)
  • Worst ranking: 18th (USA Today)

Below you will find a Week 7 roundup for the Steelers in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 15

The Steelers started out sky-high with a win against the Bills -- arguably the NFL's best team after six weeks. But instead of that triumph setting a tone for the season, it appeared to be an aberration when the Steelers followed it up with three consecutive losses. Led by an inconsistent Ben Roethlisberger, the offense lacked rhythm. And the defense couldn't overcome injuries to make up for the offensive shortcomings. But after back-to-back wins entering the bye, the Steelers are showing life. If the defense can look more like the one in the fourth quarter and overtime on Sunday night, the Steelers' confidence rating will rise. Anything short of that, it'll dip right back down. -- Brooke Pryor -- Rank: 16

There are no words to properly describe how important T.J. Watt is to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is the team's best and most impactful player, and his ability to raise his game in the most crucial of moments makes him one of the greats. We saw that again on Sunday night, a 23-20 overtime win over the Seahawks that featured a dominant Watt performance capped by the Geno Smith strip-sack that set up the game-winning field goal by Chris Boswell. A closer study of the play reveals its brilliance: Watt was playing the run, reacted to Smith's play-action, fought through several blockers and drilled Smith just as the quarterback thought he had escaped the pocket. Watt is what happens when elite talent meets max effort.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 16

They made it interesting against the Seahawks, but found a way to win it in overtime. At 3-3, they've won two straight and things are looking up.

USA Today -- Rank: 18

Noticed All-Pro FS Minkah Fitzpatrick has been invisible this season? He had 12 takeaways during his first two seasons in Pittsburgh, but nada in 2021.

The Athletic -- Rank: 17

Rookie Heat Check: If the Steelers wanted a productive, every-down running back, they got it in Najee Harris. The Steelers' first-round pick is one of four players with more than 100 carries after six weeks, and with 388 rushing yards, he's the leading rookie. But he's only averaging 3.8 yards per carry and has arguably been more impactful as a receiver in the Steelers' short passing game (four of his six touchdowns have come on receptions rather than rushing attempts).

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