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2011 NFL Power Rankings, Week 8: Pittsburgh Steelers Advance to No. 5 In FOX Sports Rankings

After picking up their third straight victory on Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers improved to 5-2 on the season. The win, coupled with the Baltimore Ravens’ loss on Monday Night Football, put Pittsburgh squarely atop the AFC North as the season approaches the halfway mark. FOX Sports analyst Brian Billick moved Pittsburgh up three places in his NFL Power Rankings, to No. 5, one spot ahead of the Ravens. This Steelers team reminds Billick of last year’s, which won the AFC Championship. He explains:

The Steelers remain near the top of the league in most defensive categories, but it just doesn’t feel that way. They are not all that different from last year’s Super Bowl team that was not dominant in any offensive category but was very effective nonetheless.

The former Baltimore coach notes that the next two weeks will be telling for Pittsburgh, as it hosts the New England Patriots (5-1) this Sunday and the Ravens on Nov. 6. (4-2). It’ll be a sound test for a team that’s recovered nicely from its 2-2 start.

Elsewhere in the AFC North, Billick has the Bengals (4-2) at No. 15, and the Browns (3-3) at No. 23.

For more NFL Power Rankings, visit SBNation.com.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.