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Steelers tumbling down NFL power rankings ahead of Week 5

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a lot of unknowns surrounding them going into Week 5.

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NFL: OCT 01 Steelers at Texans Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are trending down after a 30-6 loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday.

To make matters worse, quarterback Kenny Pickett left the game with a knee injury and his status for Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens is up in the air.

With the Steelers losing big and Pickett potentially missing next week’s game, Pittsburgh is falling in power rankings across the internet. writer Eric Edholm ranked the Steelers at No. 23, seven spots lower than last week.

Dyed-in-the-wool Steelers fans have heard statements from Mike Tomlin similar to the pledge — “Hell yeah, there’s gonna be changes” — he offered after getting blown out by Houston. The questions are what will change, and how? There will likely be a temptation to start their top two 2023 draft picks and replace Najee Harris with Jaylen Warren; might they even make a change at offensive coordinator? These are all well-worn themes among observers in Steeltown by now. The injury Kenny Pickett suffered Sunday isn’t considered serious, but the Steelers should at least consider sitting him Sunday against the Ravens if he’s not fairly healthy. Even when Cam Heyward and Diontae Johnson return from injury, they won’t be able to fix the whole ship by themselves.

The Athletic’s Josh Kendall at No. 23, 11 spots lower than last week.

The Steelers can’t even get a team plane that works. For the second straight week, their trip home was delayed by aircraft issues. Kenny Pickett can’t get off the ground either. He has the fourth-worst off-target percentage (14.2) of any regular starter in the league. His passing EPA per dropback (minus-.28) ranks 35th. And his completion percentage (60.6) ranks 29th. It hasn’t been so much chaotic as crappy.

Bleacher Report had the Steelers at No. 24 with an 11-spot drop.

The Pittsburgh Steelers aren’t used to getting beaten 30-6 by anyone. But getting pounded by a Houston Texans team that has been a laughingstock in recent years is a new low.

The Texans outclassed the Steelers in every way. Pittsburgh allowed a 300-yard passing game from rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud and a huge afternoon from Texans wideout Nico Collins. Meanwhile, the Steelers managed only 225 total yards and 12 first downs.

Perhaps the Steelers will move up the rankings next week if they can beat the Baltimore Ravens at home on Sunday. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Acrisure Stadium.