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Mason Rudolph Takes the Helm: Steelers' Playoffs Aspirations Rest on His Shoulders

Mason has been named as the starting QB for Week 18. Photo: Steelers PR
Mason has been named as the starting QB for Week 18. Photo: Steelers PR

As the Pittsburgh Steelers gear up for a crucial Week 18 clash against the Baltimore Ravens, the decision to retain Mason Rudolph as the starting quarterback has become a focal point. Having joined the Steelers in 2018, Rudolph finds himself in a unique position, entrusted with leading the team to a playoff berth.

Rudolph's Playoff Experience:

Though Rudolph has tasted playoff action in 2020 and 2021, those campaigns featured Ben Roethlisberger as the starting quarterback. This time, Rudolph is handed the reins, a responsibility he embraces with an unwavering focus on securing a victory against the Ravens.

Recent Performances:

Elevating from the third-string quarterback earlier this season, Rudolph's stellar performances in the last two weeks, amassing 564 yards and two touchdowns without interceptions, earned him the starting role. Coach Mike Tomlin's confidence in Rudolph stems from the team's recent successes and Rudolph's ability to manage the game effectively.

Challenges Ahead:

As the Steelers seek a playoff spot with a win against the Ravens, Rudolph acknowledges the daunting task ahead, emphasizing the electric atmosphere at M&T Bank Stadium. Despite the potential resting of the Ravens' starters, Rudolph remains committed to delivering a strong performance.

Steelers saw the highest points in a game this season under Rudolph. Photo: Steelers PR
Steelers saw the highest points in a game this season under Rudolph. Photo: Steelers PR

Rudolph's Mindset:

Rudolph's demeanor reflects a player focused on the immediate challenge, steering clear of long-term considerations. The article highlights his enthusiasm: "We've got tunnel vision on that, and the rest of the chips will fall where they fall."

Coach Tomlin's Decision:

Tomlin's decision to stick with Rudolph, even with Kenny Pickett's return to full health, underscores the team's confidence in Rudolph's recent successes. Tomlin praises Rudolph's aggressive style of play and the positive trends in the team's performance.

Handling the Short Week:

With a short week after a cross-country trip, Tomlin remains unfazed, emphasizing the team's adaptability to any schedule. While acknowledging potential challenges for the coaching staff, Tomlin reaffirms the team's readiness for the upcoming matchup.

As Mason Rudolph prepares for his third consecutive start, the Steelers' playoff aspirations hinge on his ability to lead the team past the Ravens. The article captures Rudolph's journey from a backup quarterback to a pivotal player in a must-win scenario, showcasing his determination to seize the moment and propel the Steelers into the postseason.

This is Dez Barnes of Pretty Girls Love Sports, a journalist on the MTMV Sports platform. She is a retired US Army veteran, professional cheerleader, pet mom, and avid sports lover. Feel free to follow her writings as she dives into the latest sports news! You can find her on all social media channels @PGLOVESPORTS.


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