Steelers shake up Week 8 NFL power rankings after another upset win

Is the media finally buying into the Pittsburgh Steelers?
Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers / Harry How/GettyImages

Call it skill or just dumb luck. Whether you are glowing positive or a glass-half-empty type of person, one thing we know is that the Pittsburgh Steelers somehow sit on a 4-2 record entering Week 8 of the 2023 season. This includes a 2-0 record against the AFC North (which is shaping up to be one of the best divisions in football.

The route to get here was bizarre, to say the least. It included some pretty sloppy play early on. Even now, the Steelers are still just 23rd in the NFL in average point differential and they actually have a negative scoring margin of -4.0 points per game. Other stats -- such as offense EPA, yards per game, points per game, and yards allowed -- all tell a similar story and suggest that this team should have more losses than wins.

Regardless, the Steelers find a way to keep winning, and QB Kenny Pickett manages to pull through in the clutch. During their Week 7 win against the Rams, we saw some encouraging signs as Pickett managed to earn 9.2 yards per pass attempt while his offense quickly strung together 14 points in the fourth quarter.

Their improvements might have been subtle, but not so much that major media outlets are overlooking this team. Mike Tomlin is showing that he continues to get the best of his opponents in one-score games, and the media is starting to really buy into this team. Here's a look at where the Steelers currently are in the Week 8 NFL power rankings., Eric Edholm: 13th's Eric Edholm has been a critic of the Steelers this year. Prior to Week 7, he had Pittsburgh just 19th in his NFL power rankings. However, their performances against the Rams were enough to shoot them up six spots in the rankings -- leapfrogging teams like the Buccaneers, Saints, Texans, and the Rams (whom they just defeated on the road). This team could really get a boost from in the power rankings if they earn another upset win against the Jaguars in Week 8.

ESPN, NFL Nation Team: 12th

The NFL Nation reporters at ESPN collectively agreed to boost the Steelers up three spots in their Week 8 NFL power rankings following their road win in LA. Brooke Pryor of ESPN cites an improved running game and Jaylen Warren's ability as a third-down back as part of the reason why. In ESPN's rankings, the Steelers just jumped ahead of Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals.

CBS Sports, Pete Prisco: 11th

Talk about a leap for the Pittsburgh Steelers here. Pete Prisco was not a fan of this team just days ago. All of a sudden he is riding the Steelers hype train. The CBS analyst has Pittsburgh jumping up a whopping 11 spots in his rankings -- surpassing teams like the Bills and Bengals. This might seem a bit wishy-washy, but Prisco is convinced this team is not just outside of striking distance with its toughest competitors.

Fox Sports, David Helman: 15th

Of the major media outlets, Fox Sports is one of the lowest teams on the Steelers following their upset win in Week 7. David Helman notes that it's too soon to say that the offense has been fixed, but also doesn't deny that there are signs of life. Though he has them just 15th overall, this is still a five-spot boost in the NFL power rankings from just last week.

Bleacher Report, B/R Staff: 14th

The staff at Bleacher Report is still erring on the side of caution when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers (which is understandable). However, they also had Pittsburgh jumping up five spots in their latest Week 8 power rankings. They noted that the Steelers' victory against the Rams wasn't a stylish win, but that T.J. Watt and the defense came through once again.