Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

NPC's "NFL Power Rankings Wrapup:" Pittsburgh Steelers, Week 13

 

Riding high off of their recent three-game win streak, the Pittsburgh Steelers have somehow vaulted themselves back into postseason contention. While they are still only 5-6, their strong play has helped their stock rise among many pundits.

So how high did the Steelers actually climb this week in “NFL Power Rankings” around the country? Take a look below to find out, readers:

 

 

The playoffs start Thursday night in Baltimore

-Mike Florio (Pro Football Talk, Ranked #19)

 

Short, succinct, and to the point, Florio captures exactly how important tomorrow’s game against the Ravens is for the Steelers. At 5-6, both teams need this monumental win to stay in the wild card chase. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the 7-4 Bengals are sagging either.

 

 

Ben Roethlisberger is now 16-1 against the Browns in his career, which ties him with Roger Staubach and Tom Brady for the highest win percentage against a single opponent in their first 17 games.

-Brian Billick (FOX Sports.com, Ranked #13)

 

I still cannot believe that the Browns passed on Roethlisberger back in 2004. I’m not sure how Jeff Garcia represented a more capable option at that time either, but hey I won’t complain. Still, it has to be hellish for Browns fans to know that the guy leading their most bitter rivals to so much success grew up and played right in their own backyards.

 

 

Since letting Ben Roethlisberger play the way he should be playing, they’ve been on a role [sic]. The Baltimore defense will provide a stiff test.

-Pete Prisco (CBS Sports.com, Ranked #19)

 

If the Steelers qualify for the postseason, it will be because they put the ball in their signal-caller’s hands. Allowing Roethlisberger, for better or worse, to lead their offense has been a huge reason why they have won their last three games. I just hope that Todd Haley doesn’t get too “run happy” down the stretch.

 

 

Pittsburgh has posted a plus-3 turnover margin in back-to-back weeks after a minus-11 start to the season. At 5-6, the Steelers are still in it (with just about everyone else).

-ESPN.com (Power Rankings, Ranked #16)

 

As I alluded to earlier in the week, turnovers have been a huge reason behind Pittsburgh’s recent surge. The defense has done a tremendous job as of late, and their takeaways have allowed the offense to put more points on the board. After struggling so much during the last two and a half seasons to do so, it looks like members of the Steelers’ defense are up to their turnover-causing ways.

 

 

Another big win, delivered by Antonio, Emmanuel, and William. Whatever happened to Joe, Bob and Steve? William Gay’s sack-strip of Jason Campbell, courtesy of Dick LeBeau’s scheme, was the play of the game. That set up an Emmanuel Sanders touchdown that staked the Steelers to a 20-3 lead, thus putting away the offensively challenged Browns. For his part, Gay played some great corner, too, getting a pick-six later in the game.

-Elliot Harrison (NFL.com, Ranked #20)

 

As much as William Gay has been trashed and vilified by many in “Steeler Nation,” he has done a solid job this year outside of the New England game. His collective play against the Browns was nothing short of terrific, and he has definitely entrenched himself as the team’s number two cornerback over Cortez Allen.

 

 

 

 

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

 

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Tags: NFL Power Rankings Pittsburgh Steelers

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