A weekly examination of the Steelers’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:
Preseason: 16 | Last Week: 18 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002
The Pittsburgh Steelers dropped a spot after nearly pulling out a win over the Miami Dolphins in miraculous fashion. A series of laterals on the final play of the game sprung Antonio Brown, and the Steelers wide receiver would have scored the winning touchdown had he not stepped out of bounds at the 12-yard line. Coach Mike Tomlin acknowledged that Brown did step out of bounds, if only by a couple of inches, and the Steelers are 5-8 after the 34-28 loss to the Dolphins.
Here's how the panel voted Pittsburgh:
Ashley Fox: 19
Mike Sando: 18
Kevin Seifert: 23
John Clayton: 21
Dan Graziano: 19
Jamison Hensley: 20
The Steelers are still mathematically alive for the playoffs, but there isn’t much hope they will avoid missing the postseason in back-to-back years for the first time under Tomlin. The seventh-year coach said the focus is still squarely on winning, starting Sunday night against the visiting Bengals. Tomlin also said he would go with his best players down the stretch and not experiment with younger ones with an eye toward next season.