Steelers power rankings: How far did they fall?


The Pittsburgh Steelers won the battle on Sunday against the St. Louis Rams, but they may also have lost the war in the process.

Starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had to leave the game after taking a hit to the knee from Rams safety Mark Barron. Later on in the evening we learned that Big Ben suffered a sprained MCL and bone bruise that will keep him out for at least the next four weeks.

As you might imagine, the media is not too high on the Steelers’ immediate future right now. Let’s take a look around and see where they’re at in the Tuesday power rankings. #9 (-1)

“The biggest story of Week 3, hands down, was Ben Roethlisberger’s knee injury, which is expected to keep him out for several weeks. Without overstating the impact of that development, I have to say it changes everything in the AFC, not unlike Le’Veon Bell’s Week 17 knee injury last season, which many analysts attributed to ruining the AFC tournament.”

ESPN: #8 (-4)

“Of the 42 quarterbacks with 100 pass attempts last season, Vick’s completion percentage (52.9) and Total QBR (21.4) ranked as the worst.”

Bleacher Report: #8 (-1)

“An uncertain future leads to a slight fall for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Life without your three-time Pro Bowl quarterback for at least one month could derail a season…”

SB Nation: #8 (-1)

USA Today: #12 (-6)

“Michael Vick has lost 12 of his past 15 starts. He also hasn’t been working with Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown.”

Fox Sports: #13 (-2)

“With Ben Roethlisberger on the shelf for up to six weeks, the Steelers will attempt to tailor their offense to backup Michael Vick. They have a ton of talent around him, but Vick’s recent track record doesn’t leave much room for optimism.”

CBS Sports: #6 (-1)

Yahoo Sports: #9 (-1)

“For as bad as we think the Steelers’ defense is, after a tough Week 1 assignment at New England, they gave up three points in the first three quarters to the 49ers (San Francisco scored 15 points during fourth quarter garbage time) and 6 points to the Rams. Is it possible Pittsburgh’s D is better than we’re giving it credit for?”

So, what are we to make of all this?

I’m honestly a little surprised that the Steelers didn’t fall farther in most of these power rankings. Losing Roethlisberger should represent a bigger step back than just one or two spots. I might be wrong but I don’t see the Steelers as a playoff team without Big Ben, so at the very most they shouldn’t be ranked higher than 12 or 13, so USA Today and Fox Sports are the closest in my book.

On the other hand, a while back I wrote that signing Michael Vick was a very shrewd move by the Steelers front office, because he’s one of the NFL’s better backup quarterbacks.

Vick has an obscene amount of weapons to work with and a chance to show the world that he can still get it done even at his advanced age. If he can keep the Steelers’ power rankings around #12 and their record at .500 with Roethlisberger out it may just save their season.

Next: Steelers vs. Rams: Tomlin Monday

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