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Mason Rudolph Dazzles in First Start Since 2021



Steelers QB Mason Rudolph
Steelers QB Mason Rudolph against the Cincinnati Bengals, Dec. 23, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — Welcome to the Mason Rudolph show. Pittsburgh’s third-string quarterback has lit up a Bengals defense. Rudolph has 279 yards, and it is the most since Kenny Pickett had 310 passing yards in a blowout loss against the Buffalo Bills last season.

Rudolph has made the right reads and hit all of the right players. It is the most receiving yards by a Steelers receiver since Antonio Brown against the Baltimore Ravens on December 10th in 2017. When you put yourself in the conversation with No. 84, that is a special stat.

Rudolph is also the first quarterback since Ben Roethlisberger to have 250 yards and two touchdown in a game, which he did in 2021.

But Rudolph is the guy who stirring everything. He has been inaccurate at times, but he is giving his playmakers a chance to make a play, and not missing guys wide open. That does a lot for the general morale of an offense, and Rudolph is putting in a very complete performance. Regarding what Rudolph does well, this is exactly what he can provide that Mitch Trubisky does not. Trubisky had a volatile performance that put the team behind the eight ball far too often. Meanwhile, Rudolph has been decisively aggressive while checking it down whenever necessary.

To their credit, the receivers are making plays, too. But Rudolph has even been under pressure and has made some throws that most guys would be tempted to just eat and take a sack. That has given the team some explosive plays in those tough spots. Mason Rudolph is not some revolutionary quarterback, but compared to what the Steelers have received from others at times, he is giving them enough juice worth the squeeze. In this offense, they do not need someone who is playing hero ball, but someone who can win in structure and maximize what the skill players can give them.

That has been what Rudolph has done, and he is joining the backup quarterback mania of 2023 by doing so. The Steelers are out to an impressive performance pushing the offense through Rudolph with the heavy lifting they are receiving from him.