Thursday, October 29, 2020

Pittsburgh Steelers Week 8 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: 1.6 (T-1st)
  • Best ranking: 1st (Multiple)
  • Worst ranking: 3rd (The Athletic)

Below you will find a Week 8 roundup for the Steelers in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 3

It's tough to know what exactly to make of their performance against the Titans. For the first 35 minutes, they looked like the league's best team. But Pittsburgh ended the game with two punts and two interceptions on its last four offensive possessions. Meanwhile, Minkah Fitzpatrick was in the middle of some defensive miscues. But not every game is going to be perfect, and at 6-0 they are the league's last unbeaten team. I've said it before, but the Steelers are impressive in their ability to win different types of games.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 1

They made it interesting against the Titans, but they found a way late to get it done. Ben Roethlisberger can't afford the mistakes he made in that game against Baltimore this week.

USA Today -- Rank: 1

If there's such a thing as the USA TODAY power rankings curse, welp. Pittsburgh is fourth different No. 1 in four weeks ... and needs only win at Baltimore on Sunday (right after Halloween) to break hex.

ESPN -- Rank: 1

Who needs to step up: S Minkah Fitzpatrick

Yes, Fitzpatrick had a pick-six against the Browns. But he needs to make splash plays more consistently. The Steelers traded a first-round pick last season for Fitzpatrick, who delivered almost immediately. He has been much quieter this season. His biggest play against the Titans was a holding call that gave Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry a fresh set of downs on the goal line after a would-be stop. Henry scored on the next play. Fitzpatrick also missed a tackle of AJ Brown that led to Brown's 73-yard touchdown. For the defense to play at the level it reached last season, Fitzpatrick needs to have a bigger positive impact on the game. -- Brooke Pryor -- Rank: 2

Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. The Steelers fell into a funk in the second half against the Titans, but Stephen Gostkowski pushed a game-tying 45-yard field-goal attempt wide right to ensure a 27-24 Steelers win in Nashville. Ben Roethlisberger had an up-and-down day that included three interceptions, but the Pittsburgh offense continues to showcase its depth, with new playmakers stepping up each week. On Sunday, it was Diontae Johnson, who had two first-half touchdown receptions in his return from a back injury. JuJu Smith-Schuster also regained his place in the game plan, finishing with nine catches for 85 yards on a whopping 14 targets. Chase Claypool, the breakout star of recent weeks, was targeted just once and finished with one catch for minus-2 yards. The Steelers are 6-0 for the first time since 1978.

+ Previous update: Pittsburgh Steelers Week 7 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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