Steelers vs Browns: 3 Key Matchups to watch on Thursday Night Football
Mason Rudolph vs. Baker Mayfield
A rivalry renewed in a division as brutal as the winter winds in their cities.
In one corner (out of Oklahoma), you have the surprise #1 overall pick of the 2018 draft and the answer for the quarterback carousel in Cleveland. The other? (Out of Oklahoma State) The 76th pick of the 2018 draft and potential successor to Ben Roethlisberger.
Mason Rudolph may not wake up feeling dangerous or make the splash plays Baker made in his first year, but he has made do with his limitations set before him.
Let’s face it; the Steelers are paranoid in giving any quarterback not named Ben Roethlisberger the full playbook. Quite frankly, the offensive coordinator is not very good at compiling a game plan to help his quarterback.
Regardless, there are things Rudolph will have to do better this week as he faces an old college rival. Sometimes you just got to let it rip despite your coordinator’s shortcomings.
Last week, Rudolph had a decent performance that was crippled by bad snaps, constant penalties, and a few drops with fumbles. Take those negatives away, and he might’ve put together a few strong drives resulting in at least 6 more points.
Baker, on the other hand, has experienced the infamous sophomore slump. Though I will attribute some of this to his also incompetent play-caller (Freddie Kitchens.) His performances haven’t been anything to get excited about necessarily.
He has thrown more interceptions and fewer touchdowns than his opposing quarterback in two more games played. Both of these quarterbacks face an uphill battle in different circumstances.
Baker will face off against a defense playing at an elite level while Mason will operate the offense in training wheels mode. Nonetheless, the quarterback who can get their feet underneath them and start running will be the one who can damage the other’s season.
The Steelers take on the Browns in Cleveland for a primetime Thursday night matchup. Tune in to Stillcurtain.com for all of the latest news, analysis, and more.
Here we go, Steelers!