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2011 NFL Power Rankings, Week 6: ESPN Panelists Move Steelers To No. 8

The Pittsburgh Steelers showed what they're made of in their big 38-17 victory against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, which proved to be enough for ESPN's panel of power rankings voters to move Pittsburgh a whopping five spots up in its rankings, to No. 8 overall. "It's hard to explain," writes ESPN AFC East scribe James Walker, "but QB Ben Roethlisberger (five passing TDs [against Tennessee]) often plays better when hurting."

The No. 8 ranking is the Steelers' highest since the preseason, when the Worldwide Leader had the defending AFC Champions at No. 3.

Walker voted the Steelers as the league's No. 8 team. Mike Sando and Paul Kuharsky were even more generous than their colleague, putting Pittsburgh at No. 7 on their ballots. John Clayton and Ashley Fox played the Grumpy Gus role this week, as their No. 10 ranking for the Steelers was the club's lowest in this round of ESPN balloting.

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