Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Pittsburgh Steelers Week 3 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2022 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Below you will find a Week 3 roundup for the Pittsburgh Steelers in our consensus 2022 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 18

Biggest early adjustment: Incorporate passing downfield

The Steelers have leaned on a conservative game plan through the first two weeks and aren't stretching the field on offense. Through two games, Mitch Trubisky is averaging 4.85 yards per pass. While his decision-making is far from perfect and his completion percentage is just under 60%, the bigger issue appears to be play design and playcalling. After Sunday's loss to the Patriots, Trubisky was asked how the team could open up the downfield passing game and he put it simply: "Just call concepts to get receivers there. And when the coverage dictates that, get them the ball within that." -- Rank: 23

You had a feeling points would come at a premium for the Steelers this season, and that's how it looks so far. Pittsburgh's offense was held under 300 yards for the second consecutive week, and a Gunner Olszewski special teams miscue proved to be the difference in a 17-14 loss to the Patriots. Olszewski's muffed punt set the Patriots up deep in Steelers territory and led to the decisive touchdown. It's the type of mistake this Pittsburgh team -- with Mitch Trubisky at quarterback and T.J. Watt on injured reserve -- cannot overcome. Kenny Pickett: Your time is near, young man.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 18

How much longer can the team go with Mitch Trubisky? Not that he's being helped much by his offensive line or his coordinator.

USA Today -- Rank: 15

One game with OLB T.J. Watt in the lineup — seven sacks. One game without the 2021 Defensive Player of the Year — zero sacks.

The Athletic -- Rank: 22

On one hand, the Steelers should not give the starting quarterback job to Kenny Pickett if they don't think he's ready. The ability of a mediocre offensive line to protect Pickett complicates that decision. But in terms of 2022 upside, who are we kidding with the Mitch Trubisky timeline? Trubisky has been about as good as he can be through two games (28th in EPA per dropback) and is at least getting rid of the ball quickly. But with a trio of wide receivers like Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool and George Pickens, it's hard to watch an offense have such a low ceiling. The Steelers mustered just one play of more than 20 yards against the Patriots (a 23-yard completion to Pickens).

There was a key play in the third quarter Sunday when Cameron Sutton dropped what should have been an easy interception of Jones on third down. On the next play, Gunner Olszewski muffed a punt to his former team, which the Patriots turned into a touchdown three plays later to take a 17-6 lead. When the offense is as rough as the Steelers', the margin for error on defense and special teams is so small. Maybe this is too instant gratification, but let the kid play.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 23

The main question is how long the Steelers stick with Mitchell Trubisky. The offense has not looked good yet. That's not all his fault, but everyone knows rookie first-round pick Kenny Pickett is waiting behind him. The Steelers play at Cleveland on Thursday in what's probably going to be a low-scoring game, and there will be calls for a QB switch if there's another bad outing by the offense.

PFT -- Rank: 15

The Steelers aren't good enough to drop interceptions and muff punts.

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