The good, the bad and the ugly from the Steelers win against the Bengals
A former second-round pick was non-factor in the passing game
On a night where Rudolph attempted 28 passes, only one of those attempts was thrown in the direction of James Washington, the Steelers second-round pick in the 2018 draft. Washington; however, did not catch said attempt. Thus he accumulated no stats in the Bengals game.
As I mentioned earlier, it was apparent to me that Rudolph was taking what the defense was giving him rather than forcing the ball to where he wanted it to go, but the fact that our second-round pick was targeted only once tell me that either Rudolph just did not see Washington when he was open or Washington could not create any separation when in order to get open.
Perhaps Washington’s lack of production in this game stems from both of the above scenarios; however, he has grabbed only 6 passes for 88 yards this year. Granted, we are only four games into the season, but with no clear number two WR behind Ju-Ju Smith Schuster, you would think that Washington would be it, by default.
The bad here is that Washington has not been able to assume that role and could be overtaken by Diontae Johnson, one of the Steelers’ third-round picks in the 2019 draft. Personally, it makes no difference to me who emerges as the number two WR, but someone has to develop because Smith-Schuster needs some help. He can’t do it alone, and he can’t get open consistently if defenses are double-teaming him.
Let’s continue looking at the bad elements of the game.