Last Thursday night, the Cleveland Browns discombobulated the Pittsburgh Steelers by the score of 21-7. However, the game itself was to become a footnote compared to the madness occurred near the conclusion of the game. Everyone worth their salt in regards to NFL football sorta, kinda knew that the Steelers, even with one of the NFL’s top defenses, did not have a snowball’s chance in hell in defeating the “Brownies” at the “mistake by the lake.”
Why? Well, first and foremost, on Sept. 29, the Browns thumped the Baltimore Ravens by the score of 40-25. During that game the Browns kept Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in check and used a diverse offense featuring Browns QB Baker Mayfield’s passing and Nick Chubb’s bloodbath-style running, to rip the Ravens for 530 yards.
On Nov. 3, the unbeaten New England Patriots traveled to M&T Bank stadium to face the Ravens. The oddsmakers may have taken a beating because the anointed, sometimes-cheating Patriots left Baltimore disappointed by a 37-20 a__ kicking that administered to them from a chocolate city by a few descendants of Edgar Allen Poe. These same Ravens only beat the Steelers by the score of 26-23 on Oct. 6. Go figure!
These are the same Patriots that beat the Pittsburgh Steelers like they stole something by the score of 33-3 on Sept. 8, the season-opener at Foxboro. Ben Roethlisberger was 24 for 47 for 276 yards and a pick. Roethlisberger also had 1 rushing attempt for 7 yards.
How did Baltimore spank New England? It’s simple. They had more DBs in coverage than New England had receivers and they refused to allow Tom Brady to pick apart the ghost pass defense known as “prevent,” as well as having more defensive schemes than Houdini had rabbits. Although the Browns had been going through few growing pains that were obvious during the start of the 2019 season, they still were able to shut down Lamar “David Copperfield” Jackson, who quite possibly will be holding a Lombardi trophy over his head at the end of the 2019 NFL season.
It is also quite apparent that the Steelers’ first-string QB Landry Jones—oops, I meant Mason Rudolph—is not ready at any time, especially prime time, to sit under center as the Pittsburgh Steelers QB or any other NFL team’s starting QB. He is not quick mentally or physically attuned to the speed of the NFL.
In today’s NFL to be successful as a quarterback you must pass the ball quickly or exit the pocket quickly. With the NFL’s torpedo-like defensive lineman and linebackers having you in their crosshairs, once the ball is snapped you don’t have time to sip on mint julep and munch on English scones. The common denominators that define the majority of today’s NFL quarterbacks are mobility, flexibility, and ability. The Steelers had a mobile QB by the name of Joshua Dobbs that for reasons unknown to me was shipped to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Near the conclusion of the Browns/Steelers fiasco (it was a fiasco at least for the Steelers) Mason Rudolph was roughed up by Cleveland Browns defensive star Myles Garrett, which resulted with Garret being suspended indefinitely along with the Steelers’ All-Pro center Maurkice Pouncey, who during the scuffle justifiably came to the aid of his QB by mistaking the head of Myles Garrett for a vat of grapes that needed to be stomped for the next batch of zinfandel. Pouncey was suspended for three games.
The performance of Mason Rudolph was horrible in the Steelers/Browns game. In all of his previous lackluster performances the Steelers defense rescued him; however, sometimes the first responders run out of life jackets or don’t have a ladder that is tall enough.
Almost everyone can or should realize that Mason Rudolph, like his predecessor, Landry Jones, is more suited for clipboard duty than performing as an NFL quarterback. There have been and will be times that even the talent of some top-tier college QBs won’t transfer to success at the NFL level. Vince Young won the Heisman in 2005. Tim Tebow won in 2007. Johnny Manziel snagged one in 2012. None of them are currently on NFL rosters. Get the hand warmers and the clipboard ready because the Steelers, barring a major miracle, won’t have confetti showering down upon them in Miami when this season ends, long as Mason Rudolph is their starting QB.
by Aubrey Bruce, For New Pittsburgh Courier
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