Thursday, January 6, 2022

Pittsburgh Steelers Week 18 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: 17 (16th)
  • Best ranking: 16 (Multiple)
  • Worst ranking: 18 (Multiple)

Below you will find a Week 18 roundup for the Steelers in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 18

New Year's resolution: Figure out Ben Roethlisberger's replacement

Is it Mason Rudolph? A first-round rookie? Dare I say, Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson? With the wealth of issues to fix on the offensive line for next season, it probably isn't the latter, but the Steelers have to figure something out. With Roethlisberger prolonging his career, the Steelers have procrastinated on the quarterback succession plan, but the assignment is due. The run game also enters the offseason needing significant help for the third year in a row, but all of that starts with determining the next signal-caller. -- Brooke Pryor -- Rank: 18

Ben Roethlisberger was the story on Monday night at Heinz Field, but it was the Steelers' stars of today and tomorrow who kept the team's playoff hopes alive. Najee Harris ran for 188 yards and the game-sealing score, while T.J. Watt closed in on NFL history with four sacks (he has 21.5 for the season) in a 26-14 win over the Browns. That's a season sweep of Cleveland, the team that ended Pittsburgh's 2020 season in embarrassing fashion last January. Big Ben's chances of extending his career beyond Sunday ride on a win over the Ravens coupled with a Colts loss to the Jaguars.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 16

They are still alive in the playoff chase. If they beat the Ravens this week and the Jaguars beat the Colts, they are in. It's a long shot, but it's possible.

USA Today -- Rank: 16

OLB T.J. Watt doesn't get enough love. A half-dozen games with multiple sacks and 21 1/2 total in just 14 games? Reggie White-esque, the ultimate compliment.

The Athletic -- Rank: 17

Future MVP: Outside linebacker T.J. Watt may be about to win Defensive Player of the Year -- his performance Monday night against Cleveland, when he sacked Baker Mayfield FOUR times, might have sealed it. In 2022, he'll be the face of the Steelers as Pittsburgh moves into the post-Ben Roethlisberger era.

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