The Pittsburgh Steelers dropped their second straight game in Week 3, and they are starting to be viewed as a bottom-dweller in NFL power rankings.
Most reasonable fans were probably hoping the Pittsburgh Steelers would be an average NFL team entering Week 4 of the 2022 season. Unfortaunelty, claiming they are as good as ‘average’ is a real stretch these days. Since upsetting the Cincinnati Bengals on the road in Week 1, Mike Tomlin’s team has fallen flat on its face with two consecutive losses against AFC rivals in the Patriots and Browns.
Sadly, we can’t even say this team is underperforming. Statistically, the Steelers are 31st in total offense through three weeks and are tied for dead last in the NFL in passing yards per attempt, according to Team Rankings. This shouldn’t come as a big surprise, but NFL.com has Pittsburgh dropping even further in their Week 4 power rankings.
Recently, Dan Hanzus of NFL.com has the Steelers as the 26th-ranked team in his updated rankings. This is three spots down from last week and a whopping seven spots down from his Week 2 rankings. Hanzus’ decision to put Pittsburgh so low isn’t hard to justify, but it is very concerning.
What Steelers must do to improve in power rankings
Even the most optimistic Steelers fans would probably agree that it’s hard to put them much higher than they currently are in the NFL power rankings. Just ahead of them on the list are the Colts, Patriots, and Falcons. At this point in time, Pittsburgh narrowly topped Chicago and Seattle. Either way, NFL experts currently view them as bottom-dwellers.
Though it’s tough to be optimistic about this team right now, a few changes offensively could help them slowly creep back up in the power rankings. One of those changes must come schematically. In Matt Canada’s effort to avoid reads designed to go over the middle of the field, the passing offense has been abysmal. Both the quarterback and the coordinator are to blame.
At this point, we might not see Kenny Pickett take the stage until after Pittsburgh’s Week 9 bye, as the upcoming schedule is brutal. However, there is some reason for hope.
The second-half schedule for the Steelers is much more manageable. We could also be looking at some major offensive changes at that time — including a new quarterback. While I don’t know if it’s realistic to expect Pittsburgh to fire Matt Canada mid-season, Tomlin knows that things need to change, and we might see him get a bit more aggressive in the future.
Sadly, no matter how you slice it, the Steelers have been a pretty bad team both in terms of record and statistics. This isn’t something we want to get used to, and fans are hopeful things could turn around soon. Pittsburgh could climb a bit in the rankings with a win over the Jets, but don’t expect a major leap anytime soon.