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NPC’s “NFL Power Rankings Wrapup:” Pittsburgh Steelers, Week 7

Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

 

Despite their sloppy play, the Steelers managed to record their first tally in the “Win” column last Sunday afternoon. Due to their victory over the Jets, Pittsburgh rose in the power rankings of many pundits around the country.

How high did the Steelers rise? Take a look below to find out, readers:

 

Beat the Ravens on Sunday, and things could get interesting in the AFC North.

-Mike Florio (Pro Football Talk, Ranked #29)

 

This weekend’s game will be “do-or-die” for the Steelers. With the 3-3 Ravens coming to town, Pittsburgh could crawl to within half a game of Baltimore in the division with a win. Of course, if Pittsburgh loses, they’ll be 1-5, 0-2 in the AFC North, and have all of their postseason dreams shattered by their division rivals.

 

 

Sunday was the Steelers’ first game this season without a turnover, and, coincidentally, it was also there [sic] first game without a takeaway. Win the turnover battle, win the game.

-Brian Billick (FOX Sports.com, Ranked #23)

 

Like most, Billick notices the importance of winning the turnover battle. Furthermore, it is a trend which must continue for the Steelers if they wish to string some wins together and gain any ground in the AFC North race. I just hope that some of the other opposing signal-callers on Pittsburgh’s schedule can be as over-anxious as Geno Smith was on Sunday.

 

 

Can that victory over the Jets get them going? That’s a huge division game against Baltimore this week.

-Pete Prisco (CBS Sports.com, Ranked #25)

 

As I mentioned previously, this weekend’s game will likely decide the fate of the 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers. Dropping to 1-5 and 0-2 in the AFC North is almost a death-sentence, even in a weak division. At 1-5 with games still to play against New England, Green Bay, Detroit, and Cincinnati, Pittsburgh will essentially be eliminated from postseason contention.

 

 

It took until Week 6, but the Steelers’ defense finally forced a turnover with two interceptions. Last year, it took Pittsburgh 11 snaps to force its first turnover.

-ESPN.com (Power Rankings, Ranked #27)

 

Turnovers will be key for the Steelers down the stretch, and they must take advantage of every opportunity. With a struggling run defense, opposing offenses have been liable to “take what the defense has given them” this year and it has worked like a charm. If Pittsburgh’s defense cannot win on first and second downs, their takeaway numbers will remain small.

 

 

The Steelers begin a hopeful streak – notching their first win of the season – while ending one of futility, collecting their first turnovers of 2013 in the form of two key Geno Smith interceptions. Those were huge plays, too, as both came in the second half in the red zone. Next up: the 3-3 Ravens at Heinz. The Steelers need to take care of business at home to save their year.

-Elliot Harrison (NFL.com, Ranked #29)

 

Capitalizing on their win at MetLife will be key, and Harrison is correct that the upcoming game against Baltimore will be huge. They must rattle Joe Flacco early, and the Ravens’ signal-caller has gone 3-1 against the Steelers in his last four starts.

 

 

Stats & Contract Info. Provided By: ESPN.comSteelers.com , Spotrac, and Pro Football Reference

 

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Topics: NFL Power Rankings, Pittsburgh Steelers

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