NFL Power Rankings Week 9: Philadelphia Eagles make a statement vs JAX

(Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images) /
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NFL Power Rankings
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9. Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburg Steelers are two games above .500 and just beat the surprisingly competent Cleveland Browns in commanding fashion.

What makes this all the more impressive?

They did it all without the services of their lead rusher, and second-best wide receiver Le’Veon Bell.

While Bell’s holdout has without a doubt been one of the major storylines to follow in the league so far this season, but the emergence of James Conner and the elevation of JuJu Smith-Schuster has helped to ease the load left by his absence and made a future without the former Michigan State star incredibly plausible.

Long-term future. In the short-term Bell has to be back by Week 10 or else he loses out on a year of screwed service, eliminating the free agency he so adamantly craves.

Baring some sort of wild trade, it looks like the Steelers will have a two-headed monster at their disposal for the second half of the season, one capable of attacking opposing defenses in all sorts of creative ways. That, when coupled with the team’s improved play over the last few weeks should be enough to earn them a playoff bout later this year and potentially a deep postseason run to go with it.