Elliott Harrison of the NFL.com has released his second Power Rankings of the year and has the Pittsburgh Steelers ranked 18th overall, just like he did in his first set of rankings he released back in June.
In Elliot\’s reasoning, this time around, he points to the unknown surrounding the team.
No one knows what to make of the Pittsburgh Steelers right now. The last time the club entered the season in a similar spell of mediocrity — coming off a somewhat lackluster, playoff-free 2009 campaign — Pittsburgh surprised many by making it all the way to Super Bowl XLV. Many in this bidness believe rookie running back Le\’Veon Bell could be the key to the Steelers turning things around, providing Ben Roethlisberger some much-needed ground support. The kid was held out of action last weekend with knee stiffness, but we should get a long look at him next Monday night in Washington.
I think it goes without saying that there are a lot of unknowns with every team in the league right now, so this isn\’t a very hard-hitting analysis. The Baltimore Ravens are ranked 7th overall by Elliot even with it being known that they want have their two primary tight ends to start the season. Of course neither will the Steelers.
The national analyst and/or talking heads seem to feel comfortable slotting the Steelers right around the middle based solely on their 8-8 record last season. Only Pat Kirwan and Tim Ryan of Movin\’ The Chains have the Steelers finishing with more than 10 wins. It\’s understandable, and I am sure the team is comfortable continuing to be underrated.