Saturday, December 12, 2020

Pittsburgh Steelers Week 14 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: 1.4 (1st)
  • Best ranking: 2nd (Multiple)
  • Worst ranking: 3rd (Multiple)

Below you will find a Week 14 roundup for the Steelers in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 2

Best-case scenario: They hold off the Chiefs for the top seed. Pittsburgh dropped its first game to Washington Monday and has not looked sharp the last two weeks. But if the season ended today, the Steelers would still be the top seed in the AFC. They've got a big one against the Bills Sunday night. Offensively, Pittsburgh ranks 16th overall, according to TruMedia's Expected Points Added (EPA) model. The Steelers have scored a total of 36 points in their last two games. This is still a very good team that can compete for a Super Bowl, but Pittsburgh needs to be better offensively. The Athletic's playoff projections give them a 46.6 percent chance to earn the top seed.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 2

The perfect season is done. But they haven't played well the past two weeks. They need to learn how to run the ball.

USA Today -- Rank: 3

Eh, it's 2020 -- the '72 Dolphins probably needed a party. At least Pittsburgh, which has been struggling on offense lately, had the good sense to lose to an NFC team and thus maintain the inside track for the AFC's No. 1 playoff seed.

ESPN -- Rank: 2

Person with most at stake: Offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner

There's something of a power struggle between Fichtner and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. When the plays go well and the offense runs smoothly, Fichtner downplays Roethlisberger's ability to effectively run a no-huddle offense and draw plays up in the dirt. But when there was a breakdown in the red zone against Baltimore, Fichtner said that Roethlisberger was running a no-huddle offense and calling the plays. Fichtner and Roethlisberger have worked together for a long time and need to get on the same page down the stretch for the Steelers to make a deep playoff run. -- Brooke Pryor -- Rank: 3

The Steelers weren't impressive when they grinded out a win over the Lamar-less Ravens last Wednesday, but you were tempted to give them a pass, considering the circumstances that surrounded that thrice-delayed affair. But on Monday night? There were no excuses after the Steelers blew a 14-point lead in a 23-17 loss to Washington, a setback that ended the dream of a perfect season in Pittsburgh. The Steelers came undone on both sides of the ball in the second half, looking like a team that felt the pressure that comes with taking an undefeated record into December. Perhaps the loss will free Pittsburgh of the kind of tightness that was on display in this odd stretch of this weird season. A Week 14 matchup against the surging Bills will bring more disappointment -- and probably some panic -- if the Steelers don't clean up their act.

+ Previous update: Pittsburgh Steelers Week 13 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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