They did it!
The Pittsburgh Steelers pulled off the seemingly impossible against Tom Brady and his Buccaneers, especially considering the total lashing they received just the previous week by another Super Bowl contender.
How they did it is even more impressive. Being down 4 starters in the secondary added injury to insult to a defense that, up until Sunday, could not pull itself together minus T.J. Watt and stop anybody consistently enough when it counted.
Mike Tomlin and basically anybody else who spoke to the media after the game gave the old cliche that “it was a total team effort.” Only this time, they weren’t just saying what sounds right. That is the only way to describe the way that this team, decimated on defense and plodding on offense, found a way to beat a Tampa Bay team that was at nearly full strength on both sides of the ball.
You can bet I moved the Steelers up from their lowly 30th place last week, but how far do they climb? Check out that and all my other HOT TAKES for this week’s NFL Power Rankings.
1. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Hot Take: The Eagles will continue their winning streak to 10 games before facing their first loss of the season against the Packers in Week 12.
2. BUFFALO BILLS
Hot Take: The Bills are the best overall team since the 2007 New England Patriots.
3. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Hot Take: The Chiefs who will lose 4 of their next 6 games against the 49ers, the Chargers, the Rams, and the Bengals.
4. MINNESOTA VIKINGS
Hot Take: This team will win the NFC North running away.
5. GREEN BAY PACKERS
Hot Take: If the Packers can’t figure out how to win with the running game, they may miss the playoffs this year.
6. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
Hot Take: Austin Ekeler will be the fantasy RB1 for the remainder of the NFL season.
7. BALTIMORE RAVENS
Hot Take: Lamar Jackson’s propensity for turnovers in critical moments is becoming an almost weekly expectation.
8. DALLAS COWBOYS
Hot Take: Micah Parsons will be the Defensive Player of the Year for 2022.
9. CINCINNATI BENGALS
Hot Take: This version of the Bengals offense will be the exception, not the “norm” for the rest of this season.
10. NEW YORK GIANTS
Hot Take: Brian Daboll will win NFL Coach of the Year for 2022.
11. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Hot Take: Tom Brady is actually (finally) not good anymore.
12. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Hot Take: The 49ers vaunted Kyle Shanahan offense has to start fast or it is ineffective.
13. TENNESSEE TITANS
Hot Take: I still don’t believe the Titans will be a major player down the road in the AFC despite a decent start to the season.
14. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Hot Take: Bailey Zappe and Mac Jones might not be that far apart talent wise.
15. LOS ANGELES RAMS
Hot Take: This might be the worst running team McVay has ever deployed.
16. NEW YORK JETS
Hot Take: The Jets defense and running game makes this a potential playoff team.
17. MIAMI DOLPHINS
Hot Take: Tua making his return won’t make that much of a difference for t
18. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Hot Take: Tariq Woolen might be your Defensive Rookie if the Year.
19. ATLANTA FALCONS
Hot Take: The Falcons actually have a decent shot at winning the NFC South.
20. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Hot Take: The Colts might be too reliant on Jonathan Taylor when he’s in the game, hurting their overall production offensively.
21. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
Hot Take: The Jaguars can’t rely on their two recent 1st overall picks to win games right now.
22. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
Hot Take: The Raiders might be the most talented 1-4 team ever.
23. PITTSBURGH STEELERS
This version of the Steelers defense is the reason we had hope for this season in the first place: a unit that brings relentless pressure with 4 guys allowing the secondary to play tight coverage and force tough throws to beat them. Yes, they did it with backups in Week 6 against the Bucs, but if this unit can continue bringing the heat until TJ Watt returns, don’t count them out of either of these next two games.
24. CLEVELAND BROWNS
Hot Take: Kevin Stefanski and Joe Woods are failing to get anything close to the production a defense with this many talented players should get.
25. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Hot Take: The Saints are better with Andy Dalton at QB.
26. DENVER BRONCOS
Hot Take: Forget ““Let Russ cook;” Russ IS cooked.
27. WASHINGTON COMMANDERS
Hot Take: The drop off from Wentz to Taylor Heineke might not be much of a drop at all.
28. ARIZONA CARDINALS
Hot Take: Even Diondre Hopkins can’t rescue this team.
29. DETROIT LIONS
Hot Take: Despite his relatively strong start, the Lions should be all in on a QB in the 2023 NFL Draft.
30. CHICAGO BEARS
Hot Take: This is the worst offense in the league in a year where we have the Broncos and the Colts and the Steelers struggling mightily.
31. HOUSTON TEXANS
Hot Take: The Davis Mills experiment was fun; it’s time to move on after this season.
32. CAROLINA PANTHERS
Hot Take: The Panthers, who are in full tank mode, will look very very different in 3 weeks after the Trade Deadline.
Who’s too high? Too low? What did I get right? Let me know about it in the comments section!