There might not be a lot of sense in comprising NFL power rankings just days before the season kicks off. Many of these rosters look very different from a year ago, and following the Week 1 slate of games, we could already be looking at some massive changes. We hope this proves to be the case for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Last year, the NFL media agreed Mike Tomlin's squad finished in the middle of the pack -- even with a strong 7-2 record since the bye week. Now the Steelers are looking to fly much higher than that in 2023.
Tomlin's players don't mind flying under the radar, but the disrespect got out of hand at times last year in the NFL power rankings. As the 2023 NFL season is about to kick off, where do the Pittsburgh Steelers rank among all 32 NFL teams prior to Week 1?
NFL Power Rankings: Where are the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1?
ESPN Staff: 14th
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: 16th
Eric Edholm, NFL.com: 14th
Bleacher Report Staff: 14th
Dave Helman, Fox Sports: 18th
It's pretty commonplace to see the Steelers fall somewhere in the middle of the 2023 NFL power rankings. Despite all of the additions they made to the roster this year and their dominant performance in the preseason, media outlets aren't buying the hype just yet (at least not enough to skyrocket Pittsburgh in the rankings).
This doesn't come as a total surprise. Oftentimes, power rankings ahead of a new season more or less resemble what we saw at the end of the previous year. Until otherwise proven, these analysts are sticking with the safe route and avoiding too many bold takes ahead of Week 1. Right now, these six outlets have the Steelers between 13th and 18th in the power rankings.
Obviously, the hope is that will gradually climb the ladder and start earning the respect of the national media. This can start with an outstanding showing at home against the San Francisco 49ers in the season-opener. The Steelers are fresh off an incredible preseason and their confidence should be through the roof right now.
It's certainly possible that they could have a rude awakening against a very talented 49ers team, but Tomlin is typically pretty good in Week 1. If they do upset San Francisco, there's no doubt they will rise in the power rankings. These outlets all of the 49ers hovering around the 4th or 5th spot in their Week 1 power rankings.
How this game unfolds could really shake up the rankings. If the Steelers comfortably take care of the 49ers, they could shoot up comfortably inside the top 10. At the same time, if Pittsburgh loses my multiple scores, they could begin an early slide heading into Week 2.
For now, it's hard to argue against having them in the 13th to 18th range. The rookie class looks strong and the preseason was great, but until they prove themselves in crunch time, the Pittsburgh Steelers will be in the middle of the pack in NFL power rankings.