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NBC Sports Ranks Steelers at No. 12 in NFL Power Rankings

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There are a significant number of questions regarding the Steelers as they approach the start of the 2021 NFL season. The state of the offensive line and Ben Roethlisberger’s ability have soured some on what Pittsburgh can do in this new season.

Question marks aside, Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports recently ranked the Steelers in 12th in his preseason NFL Power Rankings, matching last season’s entry.

Why 12th?

Hartwell sees the addition of running back Najee Harris and Matt Canada’s move to offensive coordinator as huge positives for Ben Roethlisberger and the offense as a whole. He boldly proclaims that the Steelers will not start the season 11-0 again, but can envision them staying alive in the playoff hunt. 

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Pittsburgh’s ranking places them far ahead of AFC North foe Cincinnati, who was ranked 28th due to Joe Burrow’s injury last season leading to some rusty play in the early weeks of the 2021 season.

The Baltimore Ravens were ranked sixth due to returning offensive line pieces, the addition of wide receiver Sammy Watkins and their stellar defense. Cleveland was ranked fourth, the highest of all AFC North teams, due to its offensive line, running back combo of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt and talented defense. 

Taking home the top spot were the defending Super Bowl Champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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