Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

NPC's NFL Power Rankings Wrapup: Pittsburgh Steelers, Week 15


The Pittsburgh Steelers are now in for a long winter. Now shouldered with a 5-8 record, the Steelers are now playing for pride and jobs next season after their most recent loss to the Miami Dolphins.

So how far did Pittsburgh actually fall this week in NFL Power Rankings around the country? Take a look below to find out, readers:



The Steelers could have had a “band is on the field” moment, if only Antonio Brown had stayed on the field.

-Mike Florio (Pro Football Talk, Ranked #23)


Well played, Mr. Florio. Well played indeed. I think that the fact that the almost-miracle play failed on something so ridiculous was fitting when one considers how much of a cluster-f#$* Pittsburgh’s season has been.



Ben Roethlisberger is now the franchise leader in touchdown passes in Pittsburgh. His 215 are three more than Terry Bradshaw.

-Brian Billick (FOX, Ranked #19)


Kudos must go to Roethlisberger for shining so much this fall despite the fact that the rest of his team is an undisciplined mess. The Steelers are in the midst of wasting the best seasons of their franchise signal-caller, and I hope that they can get things under control before he either retires or leaves.



It’s looking like another non-playoff season for the Steelers. Does that bring the heat on Mike Tomlin?

-Pete Prisco (CBS, Ranked #22)


I would hope that the heat is on Tomlin. Not only will his pathetic team be sitting at home for a second consecutive January, the jagoff cost Pittsburgh a draft pick when he tried to interfere with a play on the field. To be fair to Tomlin, Bill Cowher had three postseason-less seasons during his tenure. I just hope that the front office axes Tomlin if his streak extends to four.



Ryan Tannehill was 8-of-10 with three touchdowns in the red zone Sunday, the second time in the past five seasons the Steelers have allowed three red zone passing touchdowns. (Power Rankings, Ranked #19)


Save for the play of Cameron Heyward and Jason Worilds, Pittsburgh’s defense was pathetic on Sunday. Their secondary especially. They need to find some upgrades in the 2014 NFL Draft, because Ike Taylor, William Gay, Troy Polamlau, Ryan Clark and Cortez Allen do not appear to be cutting the mustard anymore.



The last play of the Dolphins-Steelers was freaking amazing. Watching it live, I saw Miami safety Chris Clemons position himself too far inside after Antonio Brown took the lateral. The Steelers wide out merely had to give Clemons an inside juke move to put an uncoverable expanse of frozen Heinz Field grass between himself and the Dolphins defender — and then Brown stepped out. Ugh.

The moment reminded someone in the NFL Media newsroom of the time that the Saints pulled off the same play to apparently tie a game in Jacksonville in 2003 — only for John Carney to miss the extra point. Anyone else remember that?

-Elliot Harrison (, Ranked #21)


I remember that play, Elliot. Of course, nobody stepped out of bounds on that particular lateral-laden miracle either. Oh well, if a team is relying on winning a game with a Stanford-band play, they probably don’t deserve to win.





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  • Thumper833

    Dom we missed 5 playoffs under Cowher.. I remember thinking he sucked too. I didn’t read any discussion boards back then, but I am sure they were lighting ol’ Bill on fire. I am not necessarily defending Tomlin. But I do think there are a lot worse coaches out there.
    Anyway, maybe I am dumb, but I have a feeling we bounce back next year. I think the O-line is close to being really good, or at least really competent. The D has stepped back for sure, but even then we have had some pleasant surprises (Heyward, Worilds). I think Bell is the real deal. We can’t get a read on Wheaton because the other guys are playing too well right now, but i think he’s really good. In fact I wish they would give him more of Sander’s snaps. We still have a top 10 QB that I think will play another 5 or 6 years. We are really not that far from being really good.

    • Dom DiTolla

      The Steelers have already missed three in Tomlin’s seven seasons on the job. That’s almost half the time if you’re keeping track. It’s also going to be tough to stay competitive with Cincinnati ascending, Baltimore always being competitive under Ozzie Newsome’s watch and Cleveland being a quarterback away from being a thorn in their divisional foes’ sides.

      If they are able to can Haley and let Roethlisberger control the offense that would be a tremendous start, but they need to rebuild their entire secondary, find an upgrade at inside linebacker next to Timmons, find a replacement for Worilds, add competent defensive line depth, find a franchise left tackle, an athletic tight end to pair/eventually take over for Miller and another wide receiver to take over for when Sanders and potentially even Cotchery leave.

      Since this cap-strapped franchise seems to be keen on keeping the status quo in place the last couple of seasons, we’ll probably be watching other teams compete for Super Bowls and in the postseason for the next few seasons.