clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NFL Power Rankings: Steelers end the regular season as a bonafide contender

The Pittsburgh Steelers had their ups and downs throughout the 2015 regular season, but thanks to some good graces, the team finished the season as a true contender.

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers finished the regular season 10-6, and with the most difficult schedule in the NFL most fans would be pleased with the outcome. However, due to some bumps in the road, the Steelers have squeaked into the AFC Playoffs as the No. 6 seed. With that said, how did they finish the regular season compared to the rest of the NFL?

In the latest SB Nation Power Rankings, the Steelers didn't move an inch from their previous spot heading into Week 17, and that spot would be the No. 8 ranked team. See what was said about the Steelers as they prepare for the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Wild Card game.

It's a similar situation for the Bengals, who will have to do the unlikely and win in the postseason with a backup quarterback at the helm. They're balanced, though, with a strong run game featuring Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard, an elite No. 1 receiver in A.J. Green, and a tough defense, so once the tournament starts, anything is possible. Their not-so-secret weapon is of course Hue Jackson, whose playcalling and offensive design brilliance has been on full display this season and hasn't ended with Andy Dalton's thumb injury. A.J. McCarron is young and inexperienced, but Jackson's surely going to put together a smart gameplan to get the most out of him.

They'll have to get by the Steelers, though, who snuck into the postseason with the help of a Week 17 loss by the Jets. Pittsburgh has been hot and cold of late, but obviously boast one of the most dynamic and explosive passing offenses in the NFL. When Ben Roethlisberger gets things going in the passing game, he's tough to stop, and he's throwing to one of the league's best in Antonio Brown.

The Steelers are one spot behind the Bengals in the rankings, while the Baltimore Ravens finished in the 27th spot, while the Cleveland Browns were able to avoid being ranked dead last and finished 31st.

Check out the Top 10 rankings as the NFL Playoffs are about to begin this Saturday:

1. Carolina Panthers
2. Arizona Cardinals
3. Kansas City Chiefs
4. Denver Broncos
5. Seattle Seahawks
6. New England Patriots
7. Cincinnati Bengals
8. Pittsburgh Steelers
9. Minnesota Vikings
10. Washington Redskins