NPC’s NFL Power Rankings Wrapup: Pittsburgh Steelers, Week 16
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
It’s truly a shame that the Pittsburgh Steelers did not jump out on opponents early in the season like they did when they played the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday night. Pittsburgh’s 30-20 beat-down upped their record 6-8 on the season. Sadly, it looks like too little, too late for the underachieving Steelers.
So how far did Pittsburgh actually climb this week in NFL Power Rankings around the country? Take a look below to find out, readers:
"Other teams might not take the Steelers seriously. The Bengals now do.-Mike Florio (Pro Football Talk, Ranked #19)"
Last Sunday’s butt-whooping illustrated two very important things: Pittsburgh’s frustration over their 5-8 start and Cincinnati’s complete and total overconfidence regarding their 9-4 opening to the 2013 campaign. The Steelers were the dominant team from the opening whistle, and the beat-down had to be a confidence killing game for the Bengals.
"Antonio Brown is quickly becoming one of the most dangerous players in all of the NFL, both as a receiver and a returner.-Brian Billick (FOX Sports.com, Ranked #19)"
Antonio Brown is probably having the most productive season ever by a wide receiver in a Pittsburgh uniform. He is on pace to shatter Yancey Thigpen’s single-season record for receiving yards, and Hines Ward’s single-season mark for catches is also within reach. I just wish that he could be doing this in the midst of a postseason chase.
"They are alive — barely. They might be playing their best football, but it’s too late.-Pete Prisco (CBS Sports.com, Ranked #19)"
If one wanted to pick a slogan for the 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers, “Too Little, Too Late” would probably be a perfect one. An 0-4 hole plus an 0-2 stretch against two important AFC foes in the forms of Baltimore and Miami did this team in this fall. I just hope that they are able to rebound next fall in what could be another arduous rebuilding campaign.
"Only Houston (six) has fewer interceptions than Pittsburgh (eight) this season. The Steelers aren’t mathematically out, but Sunday’s win looks like too little, too late.–ESPN.com (Power Rankings, Ranked #19)"
I really hope that Pittsburgh’s brass will target a cornerback or two during May’s draft. Ike Taylor’s play has declined and the veteran will turn 34 years old next year. Cortez Allen has struggled with injuries and consistency this season, and William Gay is the team’s only backup with playing experience.
"Kudos to the ATL crew for pointing out that the front office in Pittsburgh made a savvy move in extending Antonio Brown, and bidding Mike Wallace adieu. There’s no question that this was the right decision. Brown has shown up every game and made plays. His 95 catches are the third-most in the NFL, four behind Andre Johnson’s league-leading 99, yet the Steelers wide out has needed 20 fewer targets to get there. He also has eight touchdowns and 60 first downs to his name. Nice season.-Elliot Harrison (NFL.com, Ranked #19)"
Brown has blossomed as Pittsburgh’s number one wide receiver this fall, and the blow of Wallace’s departure has been lessened by the fourth-year pass-catcher’s play. As I mentioned above, Brown is coming dangerously close to establishing franchise marks for receiving yards and receptions during a single season.
Stats & Contract Info. Provided By: ESPN.com, Steelers.com , Spotrac and Pro Football Reference
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