Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
While the weekly NFL power rankings have a way of riling Steelers fans up, they really don’t matter. Duh.
Why? The Chiefs are the defending Super Bowl champions; they have Patrick Mahomes, the new golden boy of NFL quarterbacks; they’re 8-1; and they represent new, fresh football blood, a divergence from the old-guard that teams like the Steelers represent.
Also, a lot of people around the country—including the media—don’t seem to like the Steelers all that much. You can certainly make a strong case for an anti-Ben Roethlisberger bias when it comes to most national pundits that have anything to do with ranking quarterbacks.
Enough about that. Can you believe Pittsburgh is also behind the Ravens in the latest PFF power rankings? What gives? The Steelers beat Baltimore like seven minutes ago. Aha, but can they do it again without pesky takeaways getting in the Ravens’ way? Forget Baltimore, the Steelers are even behind New Orleans. That’s right, PFF has Pittsburgh, the only undefeated team remaining in the NFL, ranked fourth!
Damn it, if the Steelers fall out of the top four, they won’t be invited to participate in the College Football Playoff!
Anyway, I have a serious question: Do you think the Steelers would beat Kansas City in a postseason match-up? I mean, a lot of people are saying they won’t. A lot of folks—including fans and some in the national media—aren’t giving Pittsburgh a chance in such a hypothetical contest. They’re dissing the black and gold! Those same folks are also saying the Steelers won’t stand a chance against Baltimore in the upcoming Thanksgiving Day rematch at Heinz Field and/or in a hypothetical playoff game in January.
Can you believe the disrespect!
Yeah, a little, and for a lot of the same reasons I mentioned earlier.
But hypotheticals are just that. Also—and I can’t believe I have to say this—NFL power rankings mean nothing. They’re like mock drafts, only less significant. Mock drafts often accurately predict what some teams wind up doing in the real NFL Draft. As for power rankings, no matter how many times the Steelers are ranked behind Kansas City between now and the playoffs, it won’t have any bearing on what actually happens when these two teams meet in January.
Or should I say IF these two teams meet in January?
That’s right, the Steelers might avoid Kansas City in the playoffs. Heck, Pittsburgh might miss the Ravens and Bills, too. For all we know, Pittsburgh, the current front-runner for the only bye in the AFC (power rankings can’t change postseason seeds, btw), could get to the Super Bowl after defeating the seventh and sixth seed, respectively.
I wouldn’t care one bit, either. In fact, I’m hoping NFL owners—the folks that have already put a plan in place to eliminate byes and add two more playoff teams in the event of a major COVID crisis that shortens the regular season—do away with conferences for this postseason, making it possible for Pittsburgh to host every playoff team from the NFC East (I hope they all make it).
That’s right, not only do I not care about power rankings, I really don’t care how challenging the Steelers’ path to the Super Bowl is—the easier, the better.
Pittsburgh avoided the Patriots en route to a Super Bowl XL win; I still feel great about that. The Steelers avoided New England en route to a Super Bowl XLIII win, three years later; I still feel like it counts.
What were the power rankings after each one of those seasons? I’m guessing they had the Steelers ranked number one.
The post-Super Bowl power ranking: The only one worth worrying about.