A weekly examination of the Steelers' ESPN.com Power Ranking:
Preseason: 16 | Last Week: 19 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002
The Pittsburgh Steelers stood pat in the rankings despite their most impressive win of the season. The Steelers tied a franchise record by scoring 21 first-quarter points Sunday night, and they rolled to a 30-20 win over the No. 9 Cincinnati Bengals. The Steelers had seemingly little to play for, but they summoned up their most inspired performance of the season in improving to 6-8 and averting a season sweep at the hands of the Bengals.
Here's how the panel voted Pittsburgh:
Ashley Fox: 20
Mike Sando: 16
Kevin Seifert: 20
John Clayton: 20
Dan Graziano: 19
Jamison Hensley: 10
The Steelers are still mathematically alive for the playoffs, but their odds actually got worse despite their win over the Bengals. Victories by the Dolphins and Ravens only added to the number of things that have to happen for the Steelers to sneak into the playoffs. Their resounding win over the Bengals at least showed that the Steelers are not just going to play out the string. Next up is a visit to Lambeau Field, where the No. 16 Packers could play quarterback Aaron Rodgers for the first time since he broke his collarbone.