NFL Power Rankings Week 15: Focus on the Pittsburgh Steelers

Rob Belote@GuysNationSenior Analyst IDecember 16, 2010

PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 12:  Hines Ward #86 of the Pittsburgh Steelers catches a pass in front of Johnathan Wade #26 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the game on December 12, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Doing power rankings are tough, but because of the limited number of games on an NFL schedule, it's one of the only ways to get an idea for which teams are better than one another given factors other than just their records. 

At my site——I do a weekly power ranking of all 32 NFL teams.  It's a hugely subjective process in which I account for a team's strength of schedule, margin of victory, good wins and bad losses.

Where do the Pittsburgh Steelers currently rank?

After their Week 8 loss to the Saints, the Steelers were in the second spot. It was a loss, but the victor was at home, just happened to win the Super Bowl last year and is making a resurgence after a shaky first part of the year.

In Week 9, the Steelers got back on track with a victory in impressive fashion.  A win over a divisional opponent, this time Cincinnati, in a road game is big.  I don't care what the records of the teams are. When it comes to division games, you basically flip a coin. 

The Steelers did let the Bengals make a comeback in that game, undoubtedly giving some Terrible Towel wavers heartburn as they put the game in the hands of Carson Palmer on the last drive in the final minutes. With the Patriots losing by 20 to the Browns in Week 9, the Steelers had reclaimed the top spot. 

Week 10 had the big showdown between two of the teams I've had in the top five for the majority of the time I've been doing my Power Rankings, and with the loss, Pittsburgh dropped to the No. 6 spot.  Losses at home are far more devastating than road losses, as elite teams should be determined to win at least the eight games played that season on their home turf. 

The Steelers had the home field advantage and came up short.  With the Falcons winning their game, the Packers having a bye week and the Jets picking up a win, the top five got shaken up quite a bit.

The Steelers got back on track with a huge win over the Raiders in Week 11.  Then came the road trip to Buffalo.  Sure, Pittsburgh beat the Bills in Week 12, but they were ONE reception away from losing. To Buffalo. To a team which only has two wins this season.  Not good. It was a road game, but still, it's the Buffalo Bills.

Week 13 was a good sign for the Steelers, with their three-point win on the road against their division rivals in Baltimore, but keep things in perspective.  The win was only by three points and the Steelers lost to Baltimore in Pittsburgh earlier in the season, so this was a bit of redemption, but it doesn't necessarily speak to which team is better.

The attendance figure for the game against the Bengals tells you pretty much all you needed to know.  The fans in Pittsburgh knew that the Steelers were going to crush Cincinnati, which is why attendance was down more than 10 percent from their previous home game average. 

The Bengals look like they're returning to the ways of the Bungles, so this isn't exactly a resume-worthy victory for Pittsburgh.  It does give them a 10th victory on the year, and they're going to need everything they can get if they want to get into the playoffs ahead of Baltimore.

Did the Steelers jump ahead of anyone in the GuysNation Power Rankings with their victory?  Getting their 10th win is a big deal.

For the complete rankings and analysis, check out the article on my website,!  Unlike Power Rankings you see elsewhere, your comments could help persuade me to rank your team better after Week 15!

You also will probably enjoy voicing your opinion through voting in nearly a dozen polls set up to help get people's feedback on the Power Rankings!

You also might like the dueling NFL Week 15 picks article on, a new(ish) feature where the games on a given week's NFL schedule are debated amongst myself and another author on my site (who just happens to be a LIFE LONG PHILADELPHIA EAGLES FAN, so you KNOW he's got a high opinion of his opinion!).