The Pittsburgh Steelers needed a hero late in the season.
With Kenny Pickett dealing with an ankle injury and Mitch Trubisky struggling badly on the field, Mike Tomlin decided to turn back to Mason Rudolph, who began the season as QB3.
Rudolph always stayed ready and balled out in his first start since 2021, and he then led the Steelers to two wins in the final three games of the season.
He played quite well, and while he was far from flawless, he still managed to have as many starts with a passer rating of at least 110.0 (three) as Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert (via NFL on CBS on Twitter).
Mason Rudolph started 3 games this season
Yet he had the SAME amount of starts with a 110+ Pass Rating (3) as Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert. pic.twitter.com/8rQIs9p4Ub
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) January 8, 2024
Granted that this was a down year by Mahomes and Herbert’s standards, but this doesn’t make it any less impressive.
Rudolph had to endure going from Ben Roethlisberger’s heir apparent to the team’s third-string quarterback and watch Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett stay on the field despite playing subpar football.
He stayed ready, never complained, and simply did his job and took care of business when his name was called.
Now that Pickett is inching closer to full strength, it’ll be interesting to see whether Tomlin turns back to his ever-struggling starter or if he’ll continue to ride the hot hand and continue rolling with Rudolph.
Whatever the issue, getting past the Buffalo Bills in Buffalo’s blistering cold isn’t going to be an easy task to accomplish, regardless of who’s under center, but we’ve seen Tomlin silence the doubters as an underdog way too many times in the past before.