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2011 NFL Power Rankings, Week 7: Steelers Inch Higher In FOX Sports List

The Pittsburgh Steelers picked up their second consecutive win Sunday when they knocked off the Jacksonville Jaguars, a hated AFC rival, by a 17-13 final score. The win was enough for FOX Sports analyst and former Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick to nudge the Steelers to No. 8 in his NFL power rankings, a one-spot improvement over last week.

Billick believes Rashard Mendenhall's 68-yard run against Jacksonville-- which would have resulted in a touchdown, the coach says, were it not for "a great pursuit angle" by Jags defensive back Drew Coleman--serves as evidence that the running back's sore hamstring has healed. Further, Mendenhall's breakout game bodes well for the Steelers' offense:

That's exactly what this offense needs, a steady rushing attack, and then take some shots down the field to WR Mike Wallace.

Even with Mendenhall underperforming for much of the season--prior to Sunday, he'd averaged less than three yards per carry--the Steelers have gotten great production from Wallace. The third-year pro leads the NFL in yards per reception (19.9) and ranks No. 4 in touchdowns (4), so "tak[ing] shots down the field" hasn't been a problem so far. Imagine what quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Wallace could do if Mendenhall produced consistently.

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