Power Rankings: No. 23 Pittsburgh Steelers

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

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

The Steelers debut in the bottom half of the rankings, and they probably could have been even lower after one of the worst home openers in franchise history. Injuries also factored into the Steelers ranking well below division rivals Cincinnati (10) and Baltimore (11). The Steelers are so beat up they even had to sign a kicker to fill in while Shaun Suisham recovers from a hamstring injury.

The Steelers have never started a season 0-2 under seventh-year coach Mike Tomlin but they are staring down that barrel with a Monday night game at Cincinnati next on the schedule. The Steelers have to break in new center Fernando Velasco against a defense that is led by tackle Geno Atkins and is particularly strong on the interior of the line. Good luck with that.

The Steelers are a veteran team and a stable organization, and they won’t overreact to one loss. The defense remains stout and Ben Roethlisberger is a franchise quarterback. The question moving forward is whether Roethlisberger will get enough help from his offensive line and skill players. If he doesn't, it will be a long season in Pittsburgh.