Pittsburgh Steelers Surge In Week 17 NFL Power Rankings


The Pittsburgh Steelers (10-5) can claim their first AFC North division title since 2010 on Sunday, Dec. 28 when they host the Cincinnati Bengals (10-4-1) at Heinz Field. Kickoff has been moved to 8:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on NBC.

When the two teams met in Cincinnati on Sunday, Dec. 7, Le’Veon Bell took center stage as he rushed for 185 yards in Pittsburgh’s 42-21 victory over the Bengals. In Week 16 action, Mike Tomlin‘s squad clinched a playoff spot when they beat the Kansas City Chiefs 20-12 along the North Shore while Cincy won at home 37-28 over the Denver Broncos.

More from Ben Roethlisberger

Come January, it will be the Steelers first appearance in the post-season since being defeated 29-23 in the wild card round on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012 by the Denver Broncos. With a victory this week over the Bengals, Pittsburgh would rise to the No. 3 seed in the AFC, and they would host a playoff contest at Heinz Field.

The National Football League concludes the regular season this weekend. Here is the another Tale of the Tape for the Black and Gold:

Steelers At Home: 5-2 On The Road: 5-3

AFC North Record: 3-2

AFC Record: 8-3 Non-Conference: 2-2

Against Teams With Winning Records: 5-1

Against Teams With .500 Or Worse Records: 5-4

Steelers Total First Downs: 361 Opponents Total First Downs: 295

Points Scored: 409 Points Allowed: 351

The rest of the AFC North Division breaks down as follows, the third place Baltimore Ravens are 9-6 overall and 2-3 in the division while the last place Cleveland Browns check in with a 7-8 mark and a 2-3 record against the rest of the AFC North.

As we celebrate the holiday season, let’s check in with the experts around the internet and see where they place the Black and Gold in the pecking order of the NFL going into Week 17.

CBSSports – This Week #8 / Last Week #11 – Pete Prisco continues to be impressed by Todd Haley’s offense this season.

ESPN – This Week #7 / Last Week #10 – John Clayton likes the Black and Gold’s chances against the Bengals this week.

FanSided – This Week #9 / Last Week #10 – Josh Sanchez is another who is impressed with Pittsburgh’s surge in December.

FOX Sports – This Week #7 / Last Week #12 – Dan Schneier feels the defense continues to show signs of improvement heading into the postseason.

NFL.com – This Week #7 / Last Week #10 – Elliot Harrison thinks Dick LeBeau’s defense made many timely plays against quarterback Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs.

USA Today – This Week #7 / Last Week #9 – The crew at USA Today also moves Pittsburgh up the ladder in the rankings. They like Antonio Brown’s numbers this season.

Washington Post – This Week #8 / Last Week #9 – Mark Maske likes Ben Roethlisberger’s durability and how he continues to get the job done. Fellow columnist and stat geek Neil Greenberg also moved the Black and Gold up from 10 to 7 this week.

Yahoo Sports – This Week #7 / Last Week #11 – Frank Schwab compares the Black and Gold to the 2012 Baltimore Ravens and thinks that it may be time for them to go deep on a playoff run.

Will the Steelers close out December by winning four in a row? Who is going to be the AFC North champion? Let me know your prediction for this week’s contest against the Bengals in the comments section below.

From The Clipboard: Across the American Football Conference of the NFL, the other three divisions have their champions…The New England Patriots clinched the AFC East with a 12-3 record…The Indianapolis Colts captured the AFC South with a 10-5 mark…The Denver Broncos claimed the AFC West with a 11-4 record.

It was announced this week that Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, Maurkice Pouncey, and Lawrence Timmons were selected to the 2015 NFL Pro Bowl.

Meanwhile, Bell, who is second in the NFL in yards from scrimmage behind the Cowboys’ Demarco Murray, has been voted the Steelers’ Most Valuable Player by his teammates.