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NFL Week 5 Power Rankings: Steelers Drop Slightly After First Loss Of The Season

The Steelers slid several spots in most media outlets' NFL Week 5 Power Rankings. Not much, though, and rightfully so.

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Nobody thought the Pittsburgh Steelers would chase perfection during the 2010 NFL season. In fact, very few in Steeler Nation thought the Steelers would fare as well as they did in the first four games of the season while Ben Roethlisberger served his four-game suspension. Nevertheless, despite feeling good about where the team stands, most fans are understandably disappointed about how (and to whom) the Steelers dropped their first game of the season. Had one or two plays turned out slightly differently, the Steelers would be 4-0 heading into their bye week.

There's no such thing as 'what if?' in the NFL, however. As Mike Ditka loves to say: you are what you are, and the Steelers are no longer undefeated. Consequently, the Steelers lost the top spot in most media outlets' NFL Week 5 Power Rankings. ESPN, however, kept Pittsburgh in its top spot. Some might wonder how the Steelers could be ranked ahead of Baltimore after the Ravens just beat them at Heinz Field. But the argument can easily be made that the Steelers showed enough against the Ravens to be worthy of the top spot now that Ben Roethlisberger is ready to return to action when the team plays next in Week 6 against the Browns.

To the rankings...

SB Nation: No. 6 ; Last Week: No.1

The Steelers did an outstanding job wading their way through the Ben Roethlisberger-less era. He's back now as the Steelers enter a bye. You can't blame the Steelers too much for losing a tight game to the Ravens.


ESPN: No. 1 ; Last Week: No.1

QB Ben Roethlisberger is back from suspension, making Pittsburgh one of the NFL's most complete teams. (Walker)


CBS Sports: No. 6 ; Last Week: No.1

They have to be happy about the 3-1 record without Ben Roethlisberger. After a bye, he's back in as the quarterback. They need him. No more Charlie Batch helium balloons.


FOX Sports Power Rankings: No. 2 Last Week: No. 1

Had Roethlisberger been behind center against Baltimore, we might have had a different result. But going 3-1 without him is still impressive. When you examine Pittsburgh's roster, it might be the most complete team from both sides of the ball. And if their key players on defense can stay healthy, the Steelers could go on a long winning streak


Fanhouse: No. 4 ; Last Week: No.1

The Steelers continue to thrive without Roethlisberger, and it's reasonable to suggest that their performance this year vs. what they did last year is a sign that safety Troy Polamalu is the league's most valuable defensive player. Now that he's healthy, look at what they're doing.


National Football Post: No. 3 ; Last Week: 2

The Steelers won three games without Ben Roethlisberger—and the Pro Bowl QB is coming back.


Peter King (MMQ): No. 3 ; Last Week: No. 1

Ben Roethlisberger reports back to work this morning at the Steeler complex, and we can forget all the "Do they miss Ben?'' stuff after the 210-yard performance against the Ravens Sunday.

USA Today: No. 4 ; Last Week: No.1

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