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Week 4 NFL Power Rankings

But first, a word about our Steelers.

This has the feeling of “one of those years.” through four weeks; Another post-Super Bowl season with massive expectations marred by stupid injuries (how do you break your orbital bone when it is INSIDE OF A FACEMASK?) and a sudden inability to do what the Steelers can always do (stop the run, force turnovers). As a Steeler fan in the 21st century, you are programmed to expect this season-after-Super Bowl letdown. But watching this team in the preseason meant you had to temper that pessimism at least a little bit. All of the pieces were working the way they were supposed to, and that was without a fully healthy James Harrison and Maurkice Pouncey. The defense forced turnovers at will and Ben had wide open receivers all over the place and he was hitting them with insane precision.

We know the preseason doesn’t mean anything, but we never realized just how little it meant until this year. The regular season version of this team is slow, undisciplined, and seemingly uninterested in the outcome of most of these games. The pass routes are sloppy, but they barely have time to develop as Roethlisberger spends the majority of his time on the field scurrying for his life. The defense takes poor angles to ball carriers (see Timmons feeble attempt at Arian Foster on his 42-yard dagger in the fourth quarter last week) and consistently fails to just wrap up dudes (Troy). The list goes on.

All of this being said though, I’m not ready to raise the white flag on the 2011 season just yet. There are signs this team remembers that they were the best in the AFC last year. In spite of allowing a 19-play, 115 yard scoring drive on the opening drive of the game Sunday, the Texans finished with only 318 total yards. And of those 203 yards gained in addition to the opening drive, 42 came on a single play. So that’s 20 plays for 157 yards. In the other 36 plays the Texans ran they averaged only 4.5 yards per play (the league average is 5.6 yards per play). A sign of life.

The offense, which was as uninspiring as an offense can be, still managed to drive 68 yards in the second quarter and appeared to be on the verge of scoring a touchdown until a crippling personal foul penalty on Pouncey moved the Steelers from the Texans’ 6 to the 21. The first drive of the second half was a vintage-Steeler 13-play, 79-yard clock eater that ended with a 3-yard touchdown run by Mendenhall. Another sign of life.

These are small successes from a game that featured very little to be excited about. But they were there and I guarantee you they are things that Mike Tomlin will try to build on heading into next week and beyond. The signs of life for the Steelers may be faint, but they are there, and if any team can get it turned around it’s the Steelers

****

While the Steelers (#17) might be struggling to survive, these power rankings are alive and well. The Lions remain at #1 after their thrilling comeback against the Cowboys (who, at #11 are unfortunately high, but the power ranker does not hold the entire team responsible for the transgressions of Tony Romo). Last week’s #2 team, Buffalo, drops to seventh after choking one away against the surprising Bengals (13th).

Biggest Movers:

  • UP: Seven spots — FALCONS (26 to 19)
  • DOWN: Ten spots — JETS (6 to 16)

 TEAM

LAST_WEEK

RECORD

RANKINGS_INDEX

1.

Lions

 1

(.7807)

 4-0

.7607

2.

Ravens

 3

(.6976)

 3-1

.7155

3.

Packers

 4

(.6788)

4-0

.7118

4.

Titans

5

 (.6482)

 3-1

.6635

5.

Saints

9

(.6095)

 3-1

 .6478

6.

Texans

10

(.6078)

 3-1

 .6448

7.

Bills

 2

(.7351)

 3-1

 .6340

8.

Redskins

11

 (.6071)

 3-1

 .6225

9.

Patriots

12

(.6068)

 3-1

 .6159

10.

49ers

 8

(.6121)

 3-1

 .5916

11.

Cowboys

 7

(.6330)

 2-2

 .5758

12.

Chargers

18

  (.5130)

 3-1

 .5750

13.

Bengals

16

 (.5311)

 3-1

 .5710

14.

Giants

14

(.5683)

 3-1

 .5691

15.

Buccaneers

17

 (.5250)

 3-1

 .5620

16.

Jets

6

(.6341)

 2-2

 .5186

17.

Steelers

15

(.5413)

 2-2

 .4937

18.

Raiders

13

 (.5921)

 2-2

  .4896

19.

Falcons

26

 (.4093)

 2-2

  .4666

20.

Bears

21

 (.4668)

 2-2

  .4666

21.

Browns

19

(.5076)

 2-2

  .4609

22.

Panthers

20

 (.4720)

 1-3

  .4431

23.

Eagles

22

 (.4544)

 1-3

  .4332

24.

Cardinals

24

 (.432)

 1-3

  .4176

25.

Jaguars

25

 (.4288)

 1-3

 .3619

26.

Vikings

27

 (.3958)

 0-4

 .3612

27.

Broncos

23

 (.4484)

 1-3

 .3594

28.

Seahawks

 28

(.3919)

 1-3

 .3368

29.

Dolphins

29

 (.3295)

 0-4

 .2929

30.

Colts

30

 (.3272)

 0-4

 .2816

31.

Chiefs

32

 (.2179)

 1-3

 .2693

32.

Rams

31

(.2253)

 0-4  .2324
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