Did Dwayne Haskins just become Steelers backup QB after win vs Eagles?

Dwayne Haskins #3 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Dwayne Haskins #3 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Dwayne Haskins fared much better in his second preseason game with the Steelers. Here’s why he could be the new backup QB as early as next week. 

Ben Roethlisberger is going to start next week at home against the Detriot Lions, the Pittsburgh Steelers already confirmed. However, who will lead the offense when his night is done remains to be seen.

For the first two weeks of the 2021 preseason, Mason Rudolph has gotten the nod early in the game. But that could be about to change. While Rudolph held his own on Thursday night against the Philadelphia Eagles, it was Dwayne Haskins who really stole the show.

After a shaky performance against the Dallas Cowboys in the Hall of Fame Game, fans were hoping that Haskins would show enough in his second preseason action in 2021 to warrant consideration for the number two quarterback role in Pittsburgh. I think it’s fair to assume he did exactly that (though we will have to wait and see what the coaching staff decides).

Haskins entered the game in the first half and played into the fourth quarter. Against the Eagles, he completed 16 of 22 passes for 161 yards (7.3 yards per attempt) and 1 touchdown, according to ESPN stats. While his yards per attempt were just modest, it was a significant jump from the 4.2 we saw in this department last week. In addition, his 108.3 passer rating was quite an improvement from the 70.7 he earned against the Cowboys.

Haskins may have done enough to be Steelers QB2

I don’t want to speculate, as I’m sure the Steelers still have many things to discuss. However, after they take the time to review the film from this game and go over their options, I can certainly see a world in which Dwayne Haskins may have in fact leapfrogged Mason Rudolph on the team’s depth chart.

For many fans, this may not come as a surprise, and they may have expected this long ago. However, it’s important to consider that Pittsburgh has spoken very highly of Rudolph in the past and they liked him enough to give him a new deal with some guaranteed money, so unseating him wasn’t going to be easy.

Though Haskins had a few wild throws that got away from him during the win against the Eagles, he did a good job keeping his eyes down the field and rolling out of the pocket when need be to extend the play. If not for a throw that was a bit behind and off the hands of tight end Zach Gentry, Haskins’ numbers would have looked even better.

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We still need to wait and see what’s going to happen here, but I have to imagine the Steelers have seen enough now to give Dwayne Haskins a look over Mason Rudolph early in the game. It will be interesting to see what the Steelers do moving forward, but Haskins may have just played his way into the backup quarterback job for now.