The Steelers finally got their first win of the 2019 season by beating the Bengals 27-3 in Monday Night Football.
It was Mason Rudolph’s first win as the starting quarterback, completing 24 of 28 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns. Personally, I think he had a great game, but some would probably disagree with me.
It’s still early in the season, and the Steelers are only 1-3 right now, but watching Rudolph play reminds me a lot of 2004 when Ben Roethlisberger stepped into the starting quarterback role for an injured Tommy Maddox. I know, the offense was totally different back then, but they had to adapt to having a new quarterback, just like the Steelers are doing this year.
Let’s take a look at Roethlisberger’s 2004 stats and compare them with Rudolph’s numbers so far this year.
Week 2: Rudolph takes over for Ben / Ben takes over for Maddox
- 2019: Rudolph completes 12 of 19 for 112 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT / Steelers lose to Seattle 28-26
- 2004: Ben completes 12 of 20 for 176 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs / Steelers lose to Baltimore 30-13
Week 3: First game as starting QB for Rudolph and Ben
- 2019: Rudolph completes 14 of 27 for 174 yards, 2 TD and 1 INT / Steelers lose to San Francisco 24-20
- 2004: Ben completes 12 of 22 for 163 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT / Steelers beat Miami 13-3
Week 4: Both QB’s get a win against Bengals
- 2019: Rudolph completes 24 of 28 for 229 yards, 2 TDs / Steelers beat the Bengals 27-3
- 2004: Ben completes 17 of 25 for 174 yards, 1 TD / Steelers beat the Bengals 28-17
Pretty close, right? Granted, in Week 3 they are a little off, but the 2019 numbers reflect what I think was the entire offense still trying to get in sync during that game with the 49er’s, and as we saw, they obviously came up short.
But in Week 4 this year, the Steelers formulated a new game plan. They got TE Nick Vannette, started using Jaylen Samuels, tried the wildcat, and things worked out just fine. Yes, it was against a winless Bengals team, but a win is a win.
Can the Steelers keep the momentum going? I hope so, but we all know how AFC North football goes in October when The Ravens come to Pittsburgh. It’s going to be a hard hitting, defensive game, that the team with the fewest turnovers will probably end up winning.
In my opinion, Mason Rudolph has the potential to be a great quarterback, and the game against the Ravens this Sunday just might be his defining moment.
Ben Photo: Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Rudolph Photo: Stacy Revere/Getty Images