B/R's Lead NFL Draft Writer Matt Miller once again blessed us with his official Power Rankings through the first quarter of the NFL season. And with the Steelers coming off a bye, you might be surprised where he had them landing.
Miller's Ranking: 16th (Last Week: 13th)
My Ranking: 15th (Last Week 15th)
Miller's Take: A Week 4 bye can be a blessing or a curse, and with a banged-up team it may be what the Steelers needed to get back on track. Their 1-2 record and the way they've played on the road this year hasn't been pretty. Getting back Casey Hampton, Troy Polamalu and James Harrison has to help.
My Take: It was hard for me to drop the Steelers considering they didn't even play this week, but I can see where Miller is coming from. Teams like the Eagles, Bengals, Broncos and Chargers all won on Sunday, pushing their way past Pittsburgh in some rankings.
But I believe this off week could be the savior of the Steelers season.
Heading into their Week 4 bye, the Steelers had more questions than answers after two road losses within the conference. The usually stout defense had been gashed by, what was considered, one of the worst offenses in the league.
But getting healthy was one of the teams biggest concerns and Week 4 gave them a chance to do so.
Which injured player is most important to the Steelers success?
As Miller said, Troy Polamalu and James Harrison should rejoin the starting unit and nose tackle Casey Hampton will most likely be back to full strength. Pittsburgh will also reportedly have Rashard Mendenhall in the backfield to help improve on the league's 30th-ranked rushing attack.
Miller also named the MVP's through the first quarter of the season for each team. Not surprisingly, he awarded Pittsburgh's to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Roethlisberger is off to a phenomenal start through the team's first three games. He's connecting on nearly 70 percent of his passes and has already topped 900 yards through the air. If he stays on this pace, Big Ben would throw for over 4,800 yards, 43 touchdowns and only five interceptions.
The Steelers will most certainly have a tough test against the 3-1 Eagles on Sunday. Fortunately, the game will be played in Pittsburgh where the Steelers have won 9 of their last 10 games dating back to 2010.