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NFL Power Rankings: End of year list shows Steelers outside the Top 5

The Pittsburgh Steelers were one of the final four teams in the NFL Playoffs, yet in the end of season Power Rankings they are on the outside looking in at the Top 5.

NFL: AFC Championship-Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The 2016-2017 NFL season is in the books, and New England stood atop the league’s proverbial mountain for the 5th time in franchise history. After a crazy Super Bowl, you would think the NFL would sit back, take a breathe, and then pick up in a week or so.

Hilarious, I know.

A day after Super Bowl 51 concluded, ESPN released their first NFL Power Rankings for the 2017-2018 season. Since we are all suckers for lists and rankings, I figured I would take a look and see just where the black and gold fell in the latest rankings.

Despite being one of the four teams who played in the championship weekend, Pittsburgh finds themselves on the outside looking in at the Top 5 teams. The top 3 teams is no shock, but the rest is certainly up for debate.

That is what is great about rankings. They mean nothing, yet are great for discussion and disagreements. Well, all football fans now have plenty of time on their hands before the NFL Draft.

Let the debating begin...

1. New England Patriots
2. Atlanta Falcons
3. Dallas Cowboys
4. Green Bay Packers
5. Seattle Seahawks
6. Pittsburgh Steelers
Why they're here: Voters aren't taking seriously the possibility that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger could retire this offseason, a possibility he discussed shortly after the Steelers' loss in the AFC Championship Game. It is difficult to imagine backup Landry Jones as an appropriate successor. Assuming Roethlisberger returns, the Steelers have shown the team that they can be when he's on the field with receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le'Veon Bell.

What could change: The Steelers are 3-11 against the Patriots in the past 19 seasons, including playoffs, and must decide whether they need to try something different to overcome New England in the AFC. Bell is eligible for a new contract, and Brown's behavior throughout the season and playoffs has called into question his long-term future with the franchise. That's a lot of uncertainty for a team ranked No. 6, but the assumption is that there will not be wholesale changes.”

7. Oakland Raiders
8. Kansas City Chiefs
9.New York Giants
10. Denver Broncos