Steelers Power Rankings: Week 10

The Pittsburgh Steelers fell to the Baltimore Ravens 21-14 in a disappointing divisional loss. Three straight losses have caused fans and even players to grow frustrated and the road to the playoffs is starting to look in question.

Nov 6, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) is sacked by Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jerraud Powers (26) in the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports No. 20

Last Week: No. 11

“All the talk about the heroic return of Ben Roethlisberger resulted in two first downs through the first three quarters and change versus the Ravens. Pittsburgh’s offense looked awful. The special teams might have been worse, with a blocked punt and a … and a … a … what do you call that thing Chris Boswell attempted? The behind-the-foot, no-look onside kick resulted in the football laying on the Baltimore turf like a dog turd. A turd with a yellow flag nearby. Next up: Dallas. That ought to be interesting. Try another one of those kicks. Maybe Boswell can teach Dan Bailey how to do it.” -Elliot Harrison

Well, that’s quite the drop for Pittsburgh. Elliot Harrison points a few key things out that really caused concern for him and I’m sure most Steelers fans throughout the game.

In the end, it all comes down to the offense. This is an offense that was talking about 30 points a game at the beginning of the season. Despite all the setbacks, there was true belief that this offense was too stocked with talent to fail, but so far, we have yet to see this.

The Steelers have a cast of wide receivers who have proven their worth. Darrius Heyward-Bey is still one of the more underrated wide receivers in the league and has made some spectacular catches for the Steelers. Eli Rogers has the look of a perfect slot receiver. Markus Wheaton has been a very reliable target behind Antonio Brown many times throughout his career. Even Sammie Coates has proven to be one of the most dangerous deep threats in the league.

Yet still, the Steelers offense relies on an Antonio Brown who is double covered through entire games. That can’t happen. Brown is spectacular, but it’s the other receivers producing and forcing coverage to look away from Brown that allows him to dominate. It’s the other guys that create the opportunities for this offense to flourish, not necessarily the superstar power.

Nov 6, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) scrambles and scores a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN: No. 9

Last Week: No. 8

.250: QB Ben Roethlisberger is now 2-6 (.250) in his career in his first game back from an injury. The Week 9 loss to the Ravens dropped Pittsburgh to 4-4 this season.
.685: The good news is Roethlisberger has a .685 career winning percentage, excluding his first game back from injury, so the Steelers will have ample opportunity to get north of .500.”

Not nearly quite as dramatic as a drop as Elliot Harrison’s seemingly panic mode.

ESPN went a different route. Instead, they looked at the positives of the situation. Yes, 3 straight losses is ugly. Yes, the Ravens are now in first place in the AFC North. However, the Steelers still have the look of the strongest team in the division.

In the games against the Chiefs and Jets, the Steelers showed what they are capable of. The Ravens offense has been sluggish all season long, the Bengals are having trouble keeping up, and the Browns…yeah…but the Steelers have just had good games and bad games. The defense has displayed at times the ability to withhold opposing offenses. The offense has shown at times the ability to explode.

If they can just become more consistent, this is a playoff team. What’s the first step toward that? A healthy Ben Roethlisberger, because if you ask anyone, Ben was not 100% against Baltimore.

Nov 6, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Chris Boswell (9) muffs a onside kick attempt during the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore Ravens defeated Pittsburgh Steelers 21-14. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Fox Sports: No. 15

Last Week: No. 10

“The Steelers are one of the most unpredictable teams in the NFL, and they just might not be as good as we think they are. Despite having Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh failed to put together any representation of a decent offense, racking up more penalty yards than total yards in the first half of a loss to Baltimore. They need to elevate their game significantly if they want to win the AFC North.” -Cameron DaSilva

The Steelers have been extremely unpredictable. The Steelers have convinced everyone that the Eagles were heading to a Super Bowl and have also lost to the Dolphins and now the Ravens. Are they the team we’ve seen against Kansas City or the team against Miami? It’s hard to tell.

Through the first half, the Ravens defense had the same number of first downs, in a sense, as the Steelers offense. In the half, they had two first downs, and one of them came from a penalty from Baltimore.

If the Steelers want a chance of making the playoffs this season, they have to turn the offense around fast. This can’t be a team that relies on a defense that hasn’t been very good for quite some time now.

Yahoo Sports: No. 9

Last Week: No. 10

“This is still the “well, if they got hot … ” team of the NFL. But apparently Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t really ready to return, and that was a miserable loss at Baltimore. The Steelers look like they’re sleepwalking. It’s always dangerous to assume the switch will get flipped.” – Frank Schwab

Another not so dramatic drop here by Yahoo Sports. Again, there is a very valid argument for a big drop and a small drop.

At this point, the plus is that Ben Roethlisberger might get better, and that the rest of the AFC North isn’t playing too well. The bad side of things is that the Steelers just aren’t playing well, and even if they make the playoffs, it’s hard to expect much out of them.

But, just to be the devil’s advocate to that theory, if the Steelers are so bad at beating bad teams, shouldn’t that make the playoffs perfect for them to patch together some wins? Something to ponder. However, we have to get there first…

The Steelers might be extremely unpredictable but they have shown the potential to be great. Just have to find some consistency.

Nov 6, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Eli Rogers (17) runs with the ball in the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Author’s Opinion: No. 12

Last Week: No. 8

I don’t think it’s right to drop the Steelers just one spot. They looked really bad against the Ravens and that’s definitely a concern. I also don’t think it’s right to drop them off the face of the earth. It’s concerning, but the AFC North is right there for them to take, and as Roethlisberger said, “It’s halftime.”

The Steelers have too many weapons to falter. Eli Rogers has shown plenty of potential. Darrius Heyward-Bey was showing some potential until an injury interfered. With Ladarius Green potentially back, that brings a whole new weapon to this offense. He has the potential to completely open this offense up, even if he isn’t a star himself.

The Steelers need to keep the run game going and find a way to utilize both Le’Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams. If that all happens, and injuries aren’t too big of a concern, the Steelers have a path to the playoffs, and as always, are a team nobody wants to face when they get there.

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