Friday, November 26, 2021

Pittsburgh Steelers Week 12 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 (17th)
  • Best ranking: 14 (CBS Sports)
  • Worst ranking: 19 (

Below you will find a Week 12 roundup for the Steelers in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 17

Most memorable Thanksgiving game: Referee Phil Luckett flubs Jerome Bettis' coin toss call in overtime loss to Lions on Nov. 26, 1998

Thanksgiving Day games haven't been kind to the Steelers. The franchise is 1-7 on Thanksgiving Day, including the 2013 matchup against the Ravens in which Mike Tomlin stepped on the field and interfered with Jacoby Jones' would-be kickoff-return touchdown. That one cost Tomlin a $100,000 fine. But perhaps even most costly was the coin flip fiasco with Bettis and Luckett in the Steelers-Lions overtime period in 1998. As the captain of the away team, Bettis said he called tails. Luckett heard heads. The coin landed on tails. In replays, it sounds like Bettis quickly said head-tails, and Luckett went with the first call he heard. Despite Bettis' protests, the Lions got the ball, kicked a field goal and won the game. -- Brooke Pryor -- Rank: 19

An undermanned Steelers team showed serious fight on Sunday night. Down 27-10 in the fourth quarter of a quasi-home game in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh staged a furious rally to take the lead before faltering in the final minutes of a 41-37 loss to the Chargers. The game slipped away on a busted coverage that allowed Mike Williams to score the go-ahead 53-yard touchdown with 2:09 to play. NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth correctly asserted that Williams never gets that opportunity if star safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (COVID-19) is on the field. The Steelers desperately need to get healthy on defense if they hope to sneak back into the playoffs. Make-or-break divisional matchups against the Bengals and Ravens await.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 14

The injuries on defense crippled them against the Chargers. The good news is the offense showed some life in the passing game.

USA Today -- Rank: 17

No team has a tougher seven-game lineup left on its schedule, none of Pittsburgh's remaining opponents owning a losing record. OLB T.J. Watt and S Minkah Fitzpatrick can't return soon enough.

The Athletic -- Rank: 15

Best side dish: Rookie Najee Harris is undoubtedly the most important non-quarterback on the Steelers' offensive roster. His 188 carries are third-most among running backs, and combined with his 49 catches, he's had the most touches of any skill-position player in the NFL this year. Still, it hasn't been easy: He's averaging less than 4 yards per carry and had a negative EPA per rush in five of the last six games (per TruMedia). Despite this, expect the Steelers to continue to rely on him.

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