Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Pittsburgh Steelers Week 9 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2023 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 9 roundup for the Pittsburgh Steelers in our consensus 2023 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 14

Kenny Pickett hasn't taken the vaunted second-year leap, but it's difficult to discern how much of that is on Pickett and how much is on the offense and scheme. Before he exited at halftime of Sunday's loss to the Jaguars because of a rib injury, Pickett and the offense had four straight three-and-outs with just 9 total yards before the quarterback orchestrated a field goal drive completing 5 of 6 attempts. While his QBR plummeted from 53.6 in 2022 to 35.5 this season, and his completion percentage dropped from 63% in 2022 to 61%, Pickett does have two fourth-quarter winning drives. -- Brooke Pryor -- Rank: 15

Two straight wins had Steelers fans believing again. Then came Sunday's defeat to the Jaguars, which was painful in multiple ways, with two of Pittsburgh's most indispensable players, S Minkah Fitzpatrick and QB Kenny Pickett, exiting with injuries. Fitzpatrick is arguably the Steelers' most important piece, both because of his skill and because of the drop-off behind him on the depth chart. The fact that his hamstring injury happened ahead of a short week makes it even less ideal. The next two games (home vs. the Titans and Packers) are winnable, but Tennessee enters the upcoming Thursday Night Football matchup with confidence after Will Levis' sparkling debut. While the sailing never figured to be smooth for these Steelers, navigating this stretch -- potentially with backups playing significant roles -- will be key before they face a tough road duo to close out November (at Cleveland, at Cincinnati).

CBS Sports -- Rank: 16

The offense regressed against Jacksonville and now Kenny Pickett is hurt. It's amazing Mike Tomlin has this team with a winning record.

USA Today -- Rank: 12

No AFC team has gained fewer yards. Only two have surrendered more. Their average drive lasts 5.16 plays, fewest in the league. But Pittsburgh is somehow 4-3 despite losing the first of its three-game homestand and watching battered QB Kenny Pickett fail to finish another game.

The Athletic -- Rank: 12

Something scary (for them): Mike Tomlin's loyalty

Kenny Pickett had to leave Sunday's game with a rib injury, but does it matter who the quarterback is with offensive coordinator Matt Canada in charge? Canada has been in charge of Pittsburgh's offense since 2021. In that time, the Steelers are 29th in the NFL in scoring (18.63 ppg). Since the start of last season, Pittsburgh is dead last in scoring (17.5 ppg), and still, there's no indication that Tomlin is going to get rid of Canada.

FOX -- Rank: 18

As bad as the offense has been, it's probably not going to improve without Kenny Pickett. The Steelers offense has averaged 11 points per game at home this season, and it's hard to imagine they'll find a way to fix it on a short week with Pickett possibly unavailable.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 16

Kenny Pickett has a rib injury and his status for Thursday night's game is up in the air. Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick has already been ruled out with a hamstring injury. It's unfortunate for the Steelers that they have a short week. At least they're at home, and perhaps the defense can fluster Titans rookie QB Will Levis in his second career start.

PFT -- Rank: 13

They'll win some and lose some and ultimately be in the mix for a playoff spot.

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