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2012 NFL Power Rankings: Struggling Steelers top 15, not necessarily playoff-worthy

The Pittsburgh Steelers are struggling, having lost two straight, including an ugly 20-14 loss to the Cleveland Browns with Charlie Batch under center, leaving many undecided on whether the team can regain its previous playoff shape.

Jason Miller

The Pittsburgh Steelers looked out of sorts with Charlie Batch at the helm, leaving those making power rankings to wonder whether the team can turn themselves around and make the playoffs going forward.

Batch was part of the problem Sunday in the Steelers' loss to the lowly Cleveland Browns, but far from the only issue: four running backs fumbled the ball, and when they weren't fumbling, they weren't going very far, averaging a little under 2.5 yards per carry as a unit. The defense did its best by scoring a touchdown and holding the Browns to a reasonable 20 points, but it wasn't enough with the complete lack of scoring production.

Joel Thorman of SB Nation remained optimistic in his Week 13 NFL power rankings, keeping the team in the final slot of his top 10:

10. Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 9, 6-5): Suddenly the Steelers playoff hopes aren't so certain. Big Ben could come back this weekend against Baltimore, which is nearing must-win category for the Steelers. Be prepared for NFL reporters to talk about the gutsiest performance of all-time.

The team was scattered in between there and the end of the top 15 of most power rankings: FOX put Pittsburgh at No. 12, CBS at No. 13, and ESPN at No. 14.

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