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NFL Power Rankings Week 9: Steelers Ascend To No. 3 In ESPN List

The Pittsburgh Steelers picked up their fourth straight win Sunday afternoon, taking down the New England Patriots, 25-17, at Heinz Field. The Steelers now stand at 6-2 on the year and own the AFC North lead for the first time.

Their strong play of late has not gone unnoticed. ESPN's panel of power rankings voters moved Pittsburgh up to No. 3 in the league this week, a two-spot improvement over last week. James Walker, ESPN's resident AFC East blogger, believes the Steelers' defeat of the Patriots proved something. "After beating the Patriots, is Pittsburgh the new favorite in the AFC?" he asks.

It's certainly a fair question. The Steelers continue to roll, and have another big conference showdown on tap this Sunday, Nov. 6, against the Baltimore Ravens, who trail the Steelers by just a half-game in the AFC North.

Elsewhere in the division, ESPN's crew ranks Baltimore No. 4 in the league, just behind Pittsburgh. The Cincinnati Bengals, sneakily good at 5-2, moved up to No. 14. The Cleveland Browns remain at No. 24.

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