Steelers Ranked 1st In ESPN’s Power Rankings


In arbitrary, irrelevant news of the day, the Pittsburgh Steelers surprised many by being ranked first in the post-Week One ESPN power rankings.

Here’s what the Worldwide Leader had to say.

“Rookie linebacker T.J. Watt became the third player to record two sacks and an interception in his NFL debut since sacks became official in 1982. 
Possible overreaction: Watt is the defensive playmaker the Steelers have been craving for years and could make the defense more impactful than Pittsburgh’s offense.”

On Watt, it certainly was a promising start. Not only because of the box score but knowing he was able to beat left tackle Joe Thomas several times, still one of the best in the game.

The Steelers began the year in 4th place, jumping the New England Patriots, Atlanta Falcons, and Seattle Seahawks. The Pats and Seahawks lost on Week One while the Falcons squeaked out a win over the Chicago Bears. Still, it’s a surprise to see the Steelers top the charts after their far-from-perfect win over the Cleveland Browns. For today anyway, they don’t feel like the best team in the league.


Elsewhere in the AFC North, the Baltimore Ravens are the next highest team, coming in 14th place after their dominating win over the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals fell from 22nd to 25th place while the Browns remained steady at 30th. The Browns certainly looked more competent than the Bengals and have a puncher’s chance at finishing the year in third place.

Rounding out the top five included the Packers, Chiefs, Pats, and Cowboys.

Minnesota moved up from 17th to 12th after an impressive victory over the New Orleans Saints. Sam Bradford had one of the best games of his career and the Vikings now have life in their run game. Dalvin Cook set a team rushing record for a rookie in his debut. The Steelers will certainly have to play better this weekend than they did last but if they do, they’ll firmly remain in the top spot of the power rankings.

About the Author

Alex Kozora
Full-time blogger from mom's basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.
  • The Tony

    … yay

  • Gizmosteel

    One could certainly argue that the Chiefs deserve the spot. But really it is only the first week.

  • Jason

    thats a vote based on potential, not what we saw against the browns

  • Kick

    Getting a number 1 ranking from espn means nothing. they aren’t even a sport channel. They are a SJW network who thinks there is a racist under every rock.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    Even in just the AFC I am going to be until we beat the Pats, we aren’t better than the Pats.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    I’m surprised it isn’t the Packers. They love them some Aaron Rodgers.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    True, but they took a big blow with Berry’s injury. He played a big part in shutting down Gronk.

  • treeher

    Horse manure

  • JohnB

    I still think a lot of TJs potential wasn’t shown on the highlight reel. I watched him the whole game and was very impressed by his instincts and ability to be around the ball.

  • Jacob

    Watt in the world? Oh ok..”overreaction edition”

  • melblount

    “In arbitrary, irrelevant news of the day…”

    And PFT has us ranked #8, neither ranking of which means anything. For conversation purposes though, neither ranking seems appropriate, but PFT’s seems a bit more on the mark.

  • MoreRingsThanYourTeam

    And suddenly, all was right in the world.

  • Kevin Schwartz

    I saw this, and was surprised as well. It kind of makes sense though. They couldn’t put one of the 0-1 teams on top, and they don’t generally like to move one team up too much after just one game. We were 4th prior. Of the 3 teams ahead of us, Seattle and New England both lost, and the Falcons barely beat the Bears. To be honest, I’m surprised they dropped the Falcons down to 7 after a win against the Bears. I’m not sure how much worse they are than Cleveland (In fact, their own rankings have Cleveland at 30, Chicago at 28).

  • #7

    Shows the folks over at ESPN (which I despise) aren’t your typical Steelers fans and pee and moan about every single play, quarter, half, or game. They see the big picture, and that picture is unparalleled talent.

  • Big White

    Until the Steelers beat the Patriots in December that power ranking is worthless.

  • Steve Johnson

    1st? Naw, I think they are in the top 5 though. Here is my 5:

    1. Kansas City
    2. New England
    3. Green Bay
    4. Steelers
    5. Cowboys

    And for thevrecord, it’s not an over reaction about T.J. Watt. It’s just what the Steelers needed.

  • jesse murray

    Nope don’t see it right now. Offense has to be ton better to approach that praise.

  • Kevin artis

    Steelers did not play like the number one team in the league

  • Michael Mosgrove

    To be fair Mike florio Is as garbage as burfict.

  • Orlysteel

    Wattever, Watt looks like the real deal.

  • francesco

    Ravens should be ranked higher than the Steelers. They beat up on the Bengals and we squeaked by the Browns.

  • Jeff McNeill

    It’s worthless if the beat the Patriots in the regular season.

  • Jeff McNeill

    The Bengals might be worse than the Browns.

  • Mike Lloyd

    The offseason awards, accolades and rankings mean horsesh**…
    The in-season awards, accolades and rankings mean horsesh**…

    The only thing that matters is holding the Lombardi…

    Then I’ll cry tears of joy and thump my chest accordingly and say I’m a fan of the best team in football!

    The next few weeks will be a celebration until free agency…

    Then it’s all horsesh** again.

  • John Phillips

    Our opponet next week looks better than the Steelers

  • John Phillips

    Especially on that pick; He looked like he was near the line, then went back into coverage in anticipation.

  • NinjaMountie

    I’d be lying if I said I didn’t read these rankings and form opinions of them. It’s all part of the fun of football season.
    IMO, I think the ESPN ranking IS a bit of an overreaction; however, the Steelers are as good a candidate as any for the no. 1 spot. It’s week 1 and there isn’t an opinion on any team that is rock solid yet.
    I like to think of it like this:
    There are a few teams that can be considered legitimate SB contenders and I believe the Steelers are one of them. Any of them that won in week 1 would fit in that 1 spot just as well.

  • Jordan James

    It’s a left wing political channel, MSESPN.

  • Jordan James

    You’re right, The Pats could be 0 and 15 and I would still make them the favorites going into the game.

  • Jordan James

    That’s what I thought it would be.

  • Jordan James

    I watched him in college and he wreaks of instincts.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    If ESPN has us ranked #1 in February then I will probably feel like it means just a little bit more.

  • Steve

    The way NE looked this past week – NO way #2 – Sorry.

  • Steel B

    A bit of an over reaction to the 7 sacks. Did they over look the whopping 14 points put up by the offense?

  • Alan Tman

    We will get it together.

  • jsteeler

    under every rock? It is in the air too. like you.

  • Dubai Steeler

    Little too early to count them out. They looked bad….but unfortunately they have proven their ability to adjust in the past.

  • Nolrog

    Possible overreaction? I’d say there’s no possible about that. In fact, I’d say that over-reaction was quite extreme.

  • Steve Johnson

    I agree 100%. That’s why I had them ranked #2. Kansas City by far though looked like the best team. Going up to New England and beating them? They looked good.

  • Steve Johnson

    Man, it’s nice to see another fan on this site that can be impartial. It kills me how some people react if you say one negative thing about the Steelers, even if it’s true.

  • Dubai Steeler

    I would also argue that KC as #1 is an over reaction IMHO. Alex Smith played like a top 5 QB…..history would tell us that he is not that and over the season will move back to the mean.

    I would have Green Bay as #1 at the moment in my view. Quality win, defense looks improved and top 3 QB.

  • Edjhjr

    Head scratcher. Shouldn’t Cleveland be in the top ten as well.

  • Conserv_58

    Meh. Power rankings by sports media outlets mean zip, nadda, nothing. Case in point: According the the NFL network they have the Steelers at #8 in their power rankings.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Funny, on the NFL network the Steelers dropped two spots to number eight

  • pittfan

    Consider the source.

  • O’Neal

    They shouldn’t even do those things until afte September.

  • Limousine Liberal

    I’m a stillers fan and the stillers have no business with a #1 ranking after that stinker of a game against the browns. There are only 4 or 5 other teams the stillers would have beaten that day.

    And until PIT beats NE, ranking them ahead is garbage. Beat TB12 and consistently put up 30 and I’ll agree.

  • Limousine Liberal

    They take out NE and lose their best defender…win win for the rest of the AFC.