Ben Roethlisberger
(Joe Mahoney/Associated Press)

Mason Rudolph Proved How Valuable Ben Roethlisberger Is

If there was any doubt about how valuable Ben Roethlisberger is to the Pittsburgh Steelers, that was put to rest yesterday with the horrendous play of Mason Rudolph. When the winless Detroit Lions rolled into Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers, anyone would have thought that Pittsburgh would win that game with relative ease. However, Mason Rudolph had other plans.

If you were like me and got spared from watching this game live, desperately hoping for something good to happen with Rudolph throwing the ball 50 times (Who thought that was a good idea? Nobody in their right mind would have let that happen), then consider yourself lucky. To put it simply, Mason Rudolph played like someone who really shouldn’t be in the league.

Calling Mason Rudolph a career backup is a compliment at this point. In this game, he somehow looked worse than when he had to fill in for Ben Roethlisberger in 2019, despite him effectively getting benched for Duck Hodges (Who’s in the CFL now so go Redblacks!). Rudolph was just off, even his touchdown throw to James Washington was inaccurate and required Washington to go up for the ball. If there was any type of coverage on Washington, there’s a very strong case that Rudolph’s throw would have ended up as an interception or incomplete. It was apparent how bad Rudolph’s arm was, and he still threw the ball 50 times. The Steelers are lucky to have come out of this game with a tie. Thank goodness for the Lions not being able to kick a game-winning field goal.

I’m not saying Ben Roethlisberger is elite this season, in fact, he’s far from it. But his value to this team cannot be overstated, the veteran presence and having the knowledge from playing in the league so long is part of what has helped this team stay competitive this season. Mason Rudolph had a YPA of 4.84, Roethlisberger had a better YPA during Pittsburgh’s 1-3 stretch.

Even when Roethlisberger was playing like the worst starting quarterback in the NFL, he was still playing significantly better than Mason Rudolph. Rudolph is far from the future for the Steelers, he shouldn’t even be the future backup. I’d rather have Jared Goff be the Steelers’ future quarterback over Mason Rudolph, and he sucks too.

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