7 Steelers who need to start against the Browns in Week 17

Justin Layne Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Justin Layne Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
1 of 6

With the Steelers winning the division last week, here are seven players who need to see extended playing time in the finale.

In what was a surprising turn of events, the Steelers found a way to come back against the Colts and win the division this weekend. With the Bills and Chiefs locking up the higher seeds in the playoffs, there is very little for the Steelers to play for in their upcoming game against the Browns.

As such, the team would be wise to rest their starters for the playoffs as well as give some of their younger players a chance to show off what their potential is. Here are the six Steelers players that need to see a lot of playing time against the Browns this week.

Mason Rudolph

While the Steelers offense did get back on track last week, there are still questions surrounding the future of the quarterback position and Ben Roethlisberger. Though he looked like a new player in the second half, he had one of the worst regressions over the past five or so games where he looked washed up. Mike Tomlin has made the decision to rest Big Ben this week in an effort to keep him healthy for the playoffs. Because of this, Mason Rudolph will be awarded the opportunity to shine this week.

Many fans will point to Rudolph’s struggles down the stretch as the reason that he isn’t fit to be on this team. That said, given the recent rumors that Randy Fichtner is more at blame than anyone for the Steelers offensive struggles is eye-opening. He called a similarly horrible offensive system last year after Roethlisberger was lost for the year. While Rudolph certainly had his share of troubles, a lot of issues may stem from the offensive coordinator.

This week, he needs to have the reigns taken off of him and either sink or swim. If he struggles and the Steelers lose, it isn’t a huge blow, so trying to cover him up is pointless. As well, if Roethlisberger hangs it up after this season, Rudolph will be the odds-on favorite to start. The team will struggle to get an adequate successor with little cap room and a lower first-round pick. The reigns need to be let off and Rudolph needs a chance to flourish. It will greatly benefit the team down the road.