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NFL Power Rankings, Week 9: Steelers inching towards the Top 10 after big win over the Browns

After a huge win over the Cleveland Browns the Steelers are inching closer to the Top 10 in the latest NFL Power Rankings.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers were victorious for the fourth time in the 2021 regular season against the Cleveland Browns in Week 8, and after the win they have started to climb the latest NFL Power Rankings.

These Power Rankings are something which should be taken with a grain of salt, but if nothing else they are good for some healthy debate.

Yes, Power Rankings can be an interesting exercise, and while we don’t put too much stock into these rankings it does give you a taste of how the experts at certain sites view the Steelers. Who do they have topping the rankings this week? The Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers? The Arizona Cardinals? How about the Green Bay Packers?

Time to take a look at the latest Power Rankings:

ESPN

1. Green Bay Packers
2. Arizona Cardinals
3. Los Angeles Rams
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
5. Dallas Cowboys
6. Buffalo Bills
7. Baltimore Ravens
8. Tennessee Titans
9. Cincinnati Bengals
10. New Orleans Saints
...
14. Pittsburgh Steelers

Biggest Achilles’ heel: Vertical passing attack

The Steelers are slowly developing into a balanced offense as their run game emerges, but their biggest weakness is obvious: the vertical passing attack, particularly over the middle. Against the Browns, Ben Roethlisberger attempted just three passes of more than 20 air yards and only one between the numbers. Each fell incomplete. Roethlisberger has completed just 25.5% of deep passes since 2020, down from 30.5% between 2016 and 2019, per NFL Next Gen Stats. Relying too heavily on throws within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage risks a one-dimensional attack. A bolstered run game and offensive line will divert just enough to attention to open up more efficient, vertical options — especially in crunch time.”


CBS Sports

1. Green Bay Packers
2. Los Angeles Rams
3. Buffalo Bills
4. Arizona Cardinals
5. Tennessee Titans
6. New Orleans Saints
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
8. Dallas Cowboys
9. Baltimore Ravens
10. Las Vegas Raiders
...
13. Pittsburgh Steelers

“They have turned things around in a big way. The defense, as expected, is leading the way. But the offense is getting better.”


NFL.com

1. Green Bay Packers
2. Dallas Cowboys
3. Arizona Cardinals
4. Buffalo Bills
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
6. Los Angeles Rams
7. Baltimore Ravens
8. New Orleans Saints
9. Tennessee Titans
10. Las Vegas Raiders
...
14. Pittsburgh Steelers

“Playing without their kicker for the final two quarters in a tightly contested and physical AFC North matchup is a recipe for doom, but the Steelers still found a way by relying on some familiar elements: a suffocating defense that wouldn’t let the Browns open up their attack, and a quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger who made big throws at critical junctures behind a gradually improving offensive line. Now over .500 after a grisly 1-3 start, Pittsburgh gets back-to-back favorable matchups against the Bears and Lions. Win those games, and Mike Tomlin’s team could end up in first place as we approach Thanksgiving. Funny how this team always seems to find its footing.”


The Sporting News

1. Green Bay Packers
2. Arizona Cardinals
3. Los Angeles Rams
4. Dallas Cowboys
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
6. Tennessee Titans
7. Buffalo Bills
8. Las Vegas Raiders
9. Baltimore Ravens
10. New Orleans Saints
...
12. Pittsburgh Steelers

“The Steelers came out of a bye and did what they needed to do grinding to win at Cleveland, perhaps for one last time with Ben Roethlisberger. The defense asserted itself well like it should and they even overcame some special teams adversity. That was a big victory ahead of the second half.”


What do you think of these rankings? Think the Steelers are too high? Not high enough? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to check out one of our newest podcasts where we do some rankings of our own! Check out the “Steelers Power Half Hour” in the player below: