The Pittsburgh Steelers looked broken just a few weeks ago. The season appeared to be lost after three consecutive losses to the Arizona Cardinals, New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts. But things have changed with Mason Rudolph now under center. He has galvanized the Steelers and led the team to three straight wins to finish the season 10-7 and keep their playoff hopes alive. It’s truly remarkable. I’m sure no one had Rudolph saving the Steelers’ season on their 2023 bingo card.
Rudolph completed 18 of 20 passes (90%) for 152 yards with a touchdown (71-yarder to Diontae Johnson), no interceptions, and a quarterback rating of 115.0 in the Steelers’ 17-10 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday. According to Ryan Scarpino, Rudolph joined Ben Roethlisberger (2014) as the only Steelers quarterbacks with a passer rating of 112+ and zero interceptions in three consecutive wins (minimum 50 attempts). That’s pretty impressive. Furthermore, Rudolph set the Steelers single-game record for completion percentage (90.0), minimum 20 attempts.
The offense just flows so much smoother with Rudolph at quarterback. Explosive plays in the passing game have increased dramatically over the last three games. All three of Rudolph’s touchdown passes have gone for at least 66 yards. He had an 86 and 66-yard touchdown pass to George Pickens against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 16. And then on Saturday, Rudolph hit Diontae Jonson in stride for a 71-yard touchdown.
Despite starting just three games this year, Rudolph is second in the league in 60+ yard touchdown passes (3), behind only Tua Tagovailoa of the Miami Dolphins (4).
This offseason, Mason Rudolph shadowed congressmen and senators and spent time at architectural firms and commercial real estate firms, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Rudolph admitted after the Bengals game that he’d thought about the possibility that this might be his last NFL start if it didn’t go well.
“Am I going to jump in the commercial real estate realm or am I going to be playing quarterback?” Rudolph wondered.
Rudolph will have to hold off his post-career plans, as he should get plenty of interest in free agency in the 2024 offseason. He could also be back in Pittsburgh, but Rapoport reported that the Steelers are still confident in Kenny Pickett and plan on having him as their starter in 2024. Either way, Rudolph will get a substantial pay increase in 2024. He’s proved that he can be a starting quarterback in the NFL.