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NFL Power Rankings, Week 15: Steelers plummet in rankings after third straight defeat

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The Steelers were a unanimous Top-5 team heading into the regular season but, after three straight losses, they find themselves out of the Top-10.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The only consistent aspect of the Pittsburgh Steelers early in the season were their inconsistencies.

After an opening week tie with the Cleveland Browns, followed by a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Steelers had shown it all — amazing offense, head-scratching play calling and shoddy defense, among others.

Needless to say, the Steelers experienced a precipitous drop in the weekly NFL Power Rankings because of their poor play which resulted in a 0-1-1 record heading into Week 3. However, a 30-27 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football had the Steelers on the rise. Right on cue, the next week they suffered a 26-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday Night Football, and the Pittsburgh roller coaster was back on the decline.

Have no fear Steelers fans, a dominant performance in Week 5 vs. the Atlanta Falcons, followed by a big win over the Cincinnati Bengals, had the team on the upward track. Or as Mike Tomlin would say, “The arrow is pointing up.”

Inconsistency was the theme early with this team, but they seemed to have rectified this after beating the Baltimore Ravens in Week 9 and the Carolina Panthers in Week 10, extending their winning streak to five straight games. A narrow victory in Jacksonville over the Jaguars moved the Steelers’ win streak to six games, and boosted their ascent in the weekly rankings.

Just in case fans were thinking things were too good to be true, the Denver Broncos slapped a big fat ‘L’ on the Steelers in Week 12 — dropping the team down the rankings in the process. After a Week 13 home defeat versus the Los Angeles Chargers, plus a Week 14 loss to the 2-10 Oakland Raiders, the wheels were falling off.

In reality, these power rankings mean nothing, but they’re great for conversation and debate. This week, the Steelers barely stayed in the Top-10.

Check out the rankings, and let us know what you think in the comment section below!

ESPN

1. New Orleans Saints
2. Kansas City Chiefs
3. Los Angeles Rams
4 Los Angeles Chargers
5. New England Patriots
6. Chicago Bears
7. Houston Texans
8. Dallas Cowboys
9. Seattle Seahawks
10. Pittsburgh Steelers
Top wish list item: A holiday-cheery win over the Patriots. The Steelers are reeling, with a half-game divisional lead over the Ravens and a brutal three-game schedule ahead. Tom Brady is 7-1 with 23 touchdowns and one interception in his past eight games against Pittsburgh. The Steelers want nothing more than a timely Week-15 victory over New England to end a 3-game losing streak.”

NFL.com

1. New Orleans Saints
2. Kansas City Chiefs
3. Los Angeles Rams
4. New England Patriots
5. Los Angeles Chargers
6. Chicago Bears
7. Houston Texans
8. Seattle Seahawks
9. Dallas Cowboys
10. Baltimore Ravens
...
12. Pittsburgh Steelers
“The Steelers stunk up the joint in Oakland bad enough to ultimately blow the game but not so bad that they couldn’t try to climb back in with a hurried, late push -- much like at Jacksonville in Week 11and at Denver in Week 12. Yes, Pittsburgh was without James Conner and even Ben Roethlisberger for a stretch, but personnel-wise, the Steelers should never have been in a position to need a Chris Boswell field goal just to tie Oakland, Boswell’s plant foot be damned. Boswell’s shank looked like a corner kick gone haywire -- you could use the same adjective to describe what’s going on with Pittsburgh’s AFC North hopes. The Steelers are lucky the Ravens had to play the Chiefs this weekend. Next up: vs. Patriots, then at Saints. Yeesh.”

CBS Sports

1. Kansas City Chiefs
2. New Orleans Saints
3. Los Angeles Rams
4. New England Patriots
5. Dallas Cowboys
6. Chicago Bears
7. Seattle Seahawks
8. Los Angeles Chargers
9. Houston Texans
10. Indianapolis Colts
11. Pittsburgh Steelers
“That was a bad loss against the Raiders and now here come the Patriots. Ben Roethlisberger’s health is an issue.”