(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Today's game against the Cleveland Browns was crucial for Mason Rudolph, as he's shown inconsistent play throughout his career, and he'll be heading into his fourth year in the league after this season. In some sense, it was a prove-it game for Rudolph. With all things considered, the third-year quarterback out of Oklahoma State had a solid outing.
Many don't believe Rudolph is the long-term answer to replace Ben Roethlisberger, but with his performance today, I think he gave fans hope that he can be at least a capable No. 2.
Rudolph was successful when throwing deep against the Browns, completing two 41-yard passes (one to Claypool and the other to Johnson), a 26 yarder to JuJu Smith-Schuster, a 47 yarder to Johnson and a 28-yard touchdown pass to Claypool in the fourth quarter.
Rudolph finished the game 22 of 39 (56.4%) for a career-high 315 yards, two touchdowns, one interception and had a quarterback rating of 89.2.
Rudolph still has his issues, however. He threw a bad interception in the third quarter that set up a 3-yard touchdown run by Jarvis Landry to give the Browns a 24-9 lead. The Browns brought the blitz on the play and Rudolph had pressure in his face, which caused him to throw an ill-advised pass. There should have been a roughing the passer penalty on the play, but the officials missed it.
Rudolph's pocket awareness and mobility is still a problem. But overall, I think Rudolph proved a lot of his naysayers wrong today. He had a career-best 315 yards passing and showed great mental toughness by bouncing back from the interception and going on to throw two touchdown passes to almost upset the Browns.