Bye week fails to boost Steelers' standing in Week 7 NFL power rankings

Poor performances around the league weren't enough to boost the Steelers during their week off.
Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

The Steelers might be a 3-2 football team, and if the season ended today, they would own a spot in the playoffs. But that doesn't necessarily mean they've played like a team worthy of entering the postseason. Despite their winning record entering Week 7, Pittsburgh has struggled in the early going.

NFL media outlets are well aware of this, and their record isn't fooling anyone. Because of their sloppy play and lackluster offense, most media circles have had Pittsburgh in the bottom half of the league in NFL power rankings throughout the year. Sadly, this status might not be going away anytime soon.

While we couldn't expect much change from the Week 6 power rankings (considering Pittsburgh was on a bye), we would have thought that underwhelming performances by other teams around the league like the Colts, Buccaneers, and Saints would have shot them up the list by default. It did not.

According to Pro Football Focus, the Pittsburgh Steelers remain 24th in their NFL Week 7 power rankings. This slots them just below the Tennessee Titans and one spot above the Houston Texans. Ironically, the Texans killed the Steelers in Week 4 in what turned out to be a 30-6 blowout loss.

ESPN also had no change in Pittsburgh's power ranking this year (though they did have Mike Tomlin's team notably higher at 15th overall). had the Steelers improving just one spot this week up to the 19th-ranked team.

Steelers aren't winning NFL experts over in Week 7 power rankings

It's been incredibly hard to justify that the Steelers should be any higher than this. Entering Week 7, this team is 30th in both yards per game and points per game -- that's even counting the fact that Pittsburgh has two defensive touchdowns and a safety created on the season already.

Advanced metrics tell the same tail. Right now, Kenny Pickett is 33rd among all qualifying NFL quarterbacks when it comes to EPA per play, according to As an offense, Pittsburgh ranks just 29th in EPA (Expected Points Added).

The Steelers do have some stars on defense. T.J. Watt is having another remarkable season and Alex Highsmith is playing his best football yet. However, these two notable edge defenders might be the only thing salvaging what remains of Pittsburgh's reputation.

The hope is that this team can march into Los Angeles and come away with an impressive win over the Rams this weekend. But based on everything we have seen so far, fans won't have a lot of confidence that they can pull this off.

If Pittsburgh suffers yet another humiliating defeat, it could plummet them even further in the NFL power rankings entering Week 8. These rankings obviously don't mean everything, but experts aren't buying the Steelers yet. Let's hope they can flip the script soon.