Paul Kuharsky explains Steelers No. 1 vote

September, 28, 2010
9/28/10
4:00
PM ET
Are the Pittsburgh Steelers really the No. 1 team in the NFL right now with fourth-stringer Charlie Batch starting at quarterback?

I am getting drilled by Steeler Nation for saying that's not the case (I voted Pittsburgh No. 4). But on Tuesday, ESPN.com's Power Rankings selected Pittsburgh as the NFL's best team.

The Steelers received two first-place votes and we summoned one of those voters -- AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky -- to explain why.

Paul, even without star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (suspension), why do you feel the Steelers are the best team in the NFL?

Kuharsky: The Steelers' defense is remarkable and it's done outstanding work in three games without Roethlisberger. To me, through three games, they are the best team in the league right now. And Pittsburgh could be 4-0 without a two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback. Whether the Steelers are 4-0 or 3-1 when he returns, they obviously get even better.

Do you think Pittsburgh could beat other top teams like the Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers without Roethlisberger?

PK: I absolutely think they'd have a chance to beat Indy, New Orleans or Green Bay right now, before his return. But I'm looking more at what they've done than what they could do. I think Atlanta is one of the best teams in the league and the Steelers beat the Falcons. I think Tennessee is pretty good and they made the Titans look terrible. They did what a top team should do beating upstart Tampa in Tampa.

Kuharsky runs a tremendous football blog on the AFC South. Click here to see more of his insight on the NFL.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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