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2021 NFL Power Rankings: Pittsburgh Steelers

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Pittsburgh Steelers rank in terms of average, best and worst:

Below you will find a Week 15 roundup for the Steelers in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 16

It's hard to translate the FPI ratings, because it's hard to fully explain the 2021 Steelers. For the better part of three quarters Thursday night, they looked like a team ranked 26th in offense and defense. But in the fourth quarter, they played like they were in the top 10 in both. That's not the first time that's happened this season. The offense looks stilted and stagnant until it goes no-huddle, and the defense hasn't been able to stop anyone on the ground for a full four quarters. Special teams has been responsible for game-changing plays, courtesy of Miles Killebrew and Chris Boswell, but rookie punter Pressley Harvin III has been inconsistent. So, like the ratings, the Steelers are also all over the place. -- Brooke Pryor

NFL.com -- Rank: 21

The Steelers are like a zombie that doesn't know it's dead yet. They take hits, they appear to no longer be amongst the living, and yet, they ... just ... keep ... coming. Ben Roethlisberger and a revitalized defense nearly dug Pittsburgh out of a 29-0 third-quarter hole against the Vikings, the potential game-tying score bouncing off the fingertips of Pat Freiermuth as time ran out. Mike Tomlin isn't a "moral victory" guy, but I'm sure there was a part of the coach that had admiration for an obviously flawed team that refused to quit. At 6-6-1, there remains a path to the postseason, but a rugged schedule makes it more likely Tomlin might be coaching the first sub-.500 team of his career.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 16

This is a team getting beat up on both lines. You can't win games that way. They are in big trouble.

USA Today -- Rank: 21

Former Pittsburgh S Ryan Clark framed it well, saying: "Chase Claypool is as mentally and emotionally underdeveloped as he is physically overdeveloped. ... And that self-centeredness is part of what's bringing the Steelers team and organization down." Last Thursday was Exhibit A.

The Athletic -- Rank: 19

Worst-case scenario: Chase Claypool gets a hold of the aux cord at Steelers practice and spends his time working on first-down celebrations to various beats, rather than going through situational drills. In Week 18, after a somersault at midfield bleeds too much clock late in a close game and costs the Steelers a spot in the playoffs, a bitter Ben Roethlisberger throws a water bottle at Claypool in the locker room -- only for it to land at Claypool's feet.

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