Power Rankings: No. 27 Pittsburgh Steelers

A weekly examination of the Steelers’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 16 | Last week: 25 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

The Steelers fell back a couple of spots after they didn’t show up in Oakland until well after kickoff. The Steelers are 2-5 and will try to avoid only their fourth 2-6 start since the 1970 merger when they visit the Patriots this Sunday. Here is a breakdown of the voting:

Ashley Fox: 29

Mike Sando: 24

Kevin Seifert: 28

John Clayton: 28

Dan Graziano: 26

Jamison Hensley: 25

The Steelers face the dual challenge Sunday of playing better on the road and beating Tom Brady. Their longtime nemesis is 6-2 lifetime against the Steelers, and is 4-0 this season at home.

The Steelers' players aren’t ready to concede anything as far as the playoffs -- and the real possibility that they will miss them in back-to-back seasons for the first time under seventh-year coach Mike Tomlin.

But they also realize they are running out of games as they try to revive their faint postseason hopes.

“We are in every football game,” free safety Ryan Clark said. “I feel like we do have the team to do it, but you’ve got to execute. We know we have the players in here, but the players have to take the coaching and bring it to the field.”