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NFL Power Rankings, Week 9: Steelers Drop A Few Spots, But Still Near Top

For more on the Steelers, check out Behind The Steel Curtain.

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After a disappointing road loss to the New Orleans Saints Sunday night, the Steelers have taken a tumble in power rankings throughout the country. In general, those outlets seem to be cutting the Steelers a bit of slack for losing in a tough road environment to a good team that badly needed a win. If the Steelers can win their next two games - against the Bengals on the road, and against the Patriots at home - they'll work their way back into the top few spots (although that Pats game won't be an easy one). But a loss is a loss, so Pittsburgh had to drop some. Let's survey the damage:

FoxSports.com: No. 6 (Last week: 1).

I'm still stunned that they could muster just 10 points on offense against the Saints defense which was without its top three cornerbacks. The Steelers offense, which is ranked fifth from the bottom, clearly is better than that, and I expect that ranking to be well in the upper half before the season ends.

CBSSports.com: No. 7 (Last week: 2)

They lost for the first time with Ben Roethlisberger. That was a tough spot against the Saints: Consecutive road games against a team that had to win.

FanHouse: No. 5 (Last week: 2).

Hard to punish Pittsburgh too much for losing on Halloween night in New Orleans to a desperate Saints team. Still, Ben Roethlisberger looked shaky for three quarters or so against a depleted Saints secondary -- there's still some rust there that he'll have to work through.

NESN: No. 2.

The offense made some mistakes in New Orleans, and the defense gave up a late touchdown in a close game. These were the mistakes that killed them last year.

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