The rising and falling within the premier NFL power rankings from NFL.com’s Dan Hanzus continues for the Pittsburgh Steelers seven weeks through the 2022 season.
Following a 16-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday Night Football at Hard Rock Stadium, the Steelers fell two spots in Hanzus’ latest power rankings, sliding into No. 24 overall between the Chicago Bears and the Cleveland Browns.
Just a few weeks ago, the Steelers were inside the top 20 in Hanzus’ power rankings, but after a blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills, then a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the loss to the Dolphins, the Steelers continue to slide up and down the power rankings in the bottom half of the league.
The loss to Miami drops the Steelers to 2-5 on the season, and a tough matchup awaits in Week 8 against the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles. This are looking more and more bleak for the black and gold as the season progresses, at least when it comes to keeping head coach Mike Tomlin’s non-losing season streak alive.
“Mike Tomlin has famously never had a losing season in his 16-year run as head coach of the Steelers, but that historic streak appears destined to end as Pittsburgh rides the ebbs and flows of life with a rookie quarterback,” Hanzus writes regarding the Steelers ranking at No. 24 overall in the power rankings. “Kenny Pickett struggled to finish drives in Sunday night’s 16-10 loss to the Dolphins, throwing a pair of interceptions in Dolphins territory that buried a Steelers team that needs to maximize every scoring opportunity it has. Putting Pickett back on the bench has to be tempting for Tomlin, especially after Mitch Trubisky came to the rescue in Pittsburgh’s Week 6 win over the Buccaneers. Staying with the rookie makes sense in the longterm — but does Tomlin have the stomach for the growing pains that are sure to continue? Stay tuned.”
The no losing seasons talk can be pretty exhausting, honestly. It’s very impressive that in 16 seasons in the NFL, Tomlin has never had a losing season. But that’s the past.
Currently, the Steelers are not a good football team and are experiencing the highs and lows of a rookie quarterback learning on the job. As Hanzus opines, it might be tempting to go back to Mitch Trubisky for Tomlin, especially if he believes the Steelers are capable of competing for a playoff spot.
That’s not going to happen though. The toothpaste is already out of the tube with the Pickett era. Switching back to Trubisky would only hinder the development of Pickett, whom the Steelers knew would have growing pains as a rookie quarterback. Tomlin has the stomach for it. He endured a season of an inexperienced Mason Rudolph and undrafted rookie free agent Duck Hodges for 15 games.