Fix the Passing Game
Against the Browns last week, Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph played one of the ugliest games you’ll see in the NFL this season. From his 52% completion percentage to his four interceptions and a 36.3 passer rating, Rudolph looked completely overwhelmed. Unfortunately, this continues an ugly trend for the second-year player. His season-long numbers don’t look too bad – 12 touchdowns against eight interceptions and a 62.3% completion percentage – but his actual play has often been uninspiring.
For a player that entered the NFL known for his deep passing acumen, Rudolph has fallen well short of expectations. There have been big plays, but far too often it seems as though the former Oklahoma State star lacks the arm strength to put the ball where it needs to go. Deep balls often seem to be underthrown, forcing receivers to adjust and in the process ruining potential touchdowns. Part of the problem is a lack of top-end arm strength, but most of the blame lies on Rudolph’s ability to process defenses. Whether it’s due to a lack of experience or a lack of confidence in himself, Rudolph ends up waiting too long to throw the ball the results can be ugly.
With Rudolph’s continued struggles, some have started to question his job security, saying that backup Devlin Hodges deserves another chance at the starting gig. While Rudolph will start this week, if he struggles, perhaps it really will be time to consider a change. Either way, the passing game ineptitude has to stop if the Steelers offense is ever going to get on track.