Steelers in the Power Rankings Following the Week 6 Loss

Dan Snyder@@dsnyder34Correspondent IOctober 16, 2012

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 11:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 and head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers react to a play against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on October 11, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Coming into the Week 6 matchup in Tennessee, the Steelers were 2-2, reeling off a big win against the Eagles and looking to right the ship. 

But after the Thursday night debacle, the team has more questions than answers. 

Matt Miller, Lead NFL Draft Writer, set out his Power Rankings following a wild Week 6 in the league. And it didn't bode well for a struggling Steelers team.


Miller's Ranking: 21st (Last Week, 7)

My Ranking: 16th (Last Week, 10)


Miller's take: Why the big drop for the Pittsburgh Steelers? A few reasons.

1. I should have known better than to rank the Steelers so high last week. Putting them at No. 7 was based on paper talent and a hunch that they'd get hot and start winning. Oops.

2. I picked the Steelers to go 8-8 and miss the playoffs before the year, and a wiser man would have remembered that last week. Consider this a much-needed adjustment.

The Steelers are banged up on the offensive line, old and slow on defense, and have too little depth to be considered a viable contender over the next 11 weeks. Sorry, Steeler fan, the playoffs aren't in your immediate future.

My take: I know Thursday night's game was bad and a real shock to, not just Steeler fans, but the NFL community as a whole. However, I'm not sure that really justifies dropping this team to the bottom third of the league. 

The fact remains that the Steelers lost a road game on short rest with an injury-riddled offensive line, backfield and defense. I'm not going to go as far as to say the Steelers are still a playoff team, but they're still better than teams like the Bills, Rams, Dolphins and Lions, all who are ranked ahead of them.

The Steelers are, however, in some serious trouble.

They're not good enough on the offensive line when they're at full strength, much less when they'll be without Maurkice Pouncey and Marcus Gilbert for some time. Running backs Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman are banged up and the defensive side of the football is just a mess.

Sunday is going to be a huge test for the Steelers. They'll be heading into their first division matchup against the Bengals in Cincinnati. Given how the Steelers have played on the road this season (0-3), one would have to make the Bengals the favorite.

But considering a victory puts them right back in contention for the playoffs, we make have to look at this as a must-win for Pittsburgh.