Fresh off a frustrating overtime defeat at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys this past Sunday, curator Joel Thorman moved the team down four spots from last week's poll to their current standing. Pittsburgh is now ranked lower than the Cincinnati Bengals (No. 13, up three spots) and the Baltimore Ravens (No. 9, down one spot). The Steelers remain ranked higher than the Cleveland Browns, but only by two positions.
In terms of the playoff picture, the Steelers trail the Bengals by a single game for the final Wild Card spot in the AFC. Had they managed to defeat Dallas, the Steelers would have trailed the free-falling Ravens by a single game for the AFC North crown.
With a pivotal meeting with Cincinnati in Week 16, the Steelers' playoff hopes rest in the balance.
In Thorman's explanation of the team's rankings, he doesn't express much confidence in the team's chances:
This Steelers team looks a lot like the 2009 team, also the last Steelers team to miss the playoffs.