The Steelers Are the Best Team in the NFL?


image from USA Today

Tyler Cote, Sports

The Steelers are the best team in the NFL?! In the latest NFL power rankings, the Steelers are ranked number two in the entire NFL after being previously ranked four. 

The only team ahead of them is the Kansas City Chiefs, who lost to the Las Vegas Raiders, a team that at the time was depleted with injuries, like the rest of the NFL. However, that does not leave it as an excuse to lose, and in a fashion that the Chiefs win a majority of the time, a shootout, and high scoring affair. Along with this fact, the Steelers showed a dominant performance against the Cleveland Browns, who have a star struck team, with players like Odell Beckham, Jr., Jarvis Landry, Kareem Hunt, and Baker Mayfield. In this performance, the Steelers held the Browns to under 200 yards passing and under 100 yards rushing combined. The Steelers had a 3-0 win in the turnover battle, which led to an offensive onslaught led by guys like the rookie Chase Claypool, James Conner, Juju Smith-Shuster, and Eric Ebron.

As you look at the possible matchup between the two teams, the Chiefs and the Steelers, the Steelers seem to be a more complete team that could force the Chiefs into a staggered offense and could shut down the Chiefs. The Steelers have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL and best secondaries overall, with veterans like Joe Haden, and ex-chief Steven Nelson, to go along with the young guys they have drafted and traded for like Minkah Fitzpatrick, Cameron Sutton, Mike Hilton, and Terrell Edmunds. The only part of the defense that might be a problem are the middle linebackers, originally headed by Devin Bush, who was sadly sent to the hospital after the game against the Browns with a torn ACL and is done for the season. The Steelers have a slight amount of depth with a regular starter in Vince Williams, who struggles in coverage, and two-year vet in Robert Spillane. We don’t know a good bit about Spillane yet other than the fact that he played at Western Michigan and ended Sunday’s game second in tackles. So, all in all, the Steelers might end up playing a more nickel or dime set-up, with 4-5 pass rushers dependent on the scenario. This would allow the Steelers to play to their strength with the great defensive line that can act as a wall in the run game and as a nuisance to a passer, which allows the linebacking core to be less stable than it needs to be. So, with all the evidence presented, the Steelers seem to be the most complete team in the NFL, and I believe that they will be treated like it, especially after they beat the Titans this past week. 

After the end of week seven, the Steelers are the only undefeated team in the NFL and have proven that even without Devin Bush, they can be an effective defense. They held Derek Henry to 75 rushing yards and they had the 3rd and goal goaline stand against him. Henry has had a total of 663 yards all year and seven touchdowns, which makes him one of the top rushers in the NFL as he leads the NFL in attempts rushing, yards, and tied first in touchdowns. They also proved to be a great pass defense holding Ryan Tannehill to his second lowest passing yardage game of the season, along with his lowest touchdown total of the season. The pass rush continued their dominance by tying Tannehill’s total sacks on the game of two which is the teams highest amount allowed.