Why Steelers should start Devlin Hodges over Mason Rudolph vs. Browns
After a poor performance from Mason Rudolph in the first half, Devlin Hodges ultimately led the Steelers to victory. Here’s why Hodges should start against the Browns.
The Steelers victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday wasn’t exactly the 20-point beatdown we were all hoping for. In the end, however, a win is a win.
While Pittsburgh’s defense looked once again like an elite unit, the offensive struggles continued under quarterback Mason Rudolph. Coming off the worst game of his career (and perhaps the worst game by any NFL quarterback this season) Rudolph didn’t do much to redeem his reputation.
Through just over a half of play, Rudolph completed just 50 percent of his 16 pass attempts for 85 yards (5.31 yards per attempt) and an interception. The Steelers had managed just 3 points through two-quarters of play against a historically bad defense, and it was time for a change.
Devlin Hodges has seen game action in just two other contests this season – he was forced into action in the second half of the game against the Ravens, and completed 7 of 9 passes for 68 yards. He nearly led his team to victory against one of the leagues best teams had it not been for a JuJu Smith-Schuster fumble in the red zone.
The other game Hodges appeared in was the west coast matchup against the Chargers. Mason Rudolph had been knocked out the game before with a concussion, and Hodges got the start. Though the Steelers were underdogs, the undrafted quarterback impressed as he led the team to victory.
Though we haven’t seen a lot from Duck Hodges yet, we may have seen plenty from Mason Rudolph. Mike Tomlin had very high hopes for the former 3rd round draft choice, but Rudolph has not progressed like he needed to as he has 3 touchdowns and 6 interceptions over his last four contests.
Hodges was able to step in for a struggling Rudolph in Cincinnati and lead his team to victory. The highlight of the game was a beautiful 79-yard touchdown pass to James Washington. With yet another solid performance (albeit limited action), a quarterback controversy is sparking in Pittsburgh. Here is what Ian Rapoport of NFL Network add to say on the matter:
Rapoport admitted that it looks like the Steelers are heading for a quarterback change. And why shouldn’t they?
Hodges obviously has the hot hand right now in Pittsburgh and most believe he gives them the best chance of winning moving forward. The Steelers also play the Cleveland Browns this week in what promises to be a heated matchup.
After the indefinite suspension of Myles Garrett, Browns players are no doubt seeking redemption and are licking their chops at the opportunity to plant Rudolph into the turf. While this alone isn’t reason enough to start Devlin Hodges, there are plenty of others we can point to.
If the season ended today, the Steelers would have a wildcard spot in the playoffs. No matter how Pittsburgh’s front office feels about Mason Rudolph, they need to do what is best for this football team. I believe that means running with Delvin Hodges.