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Mason Rudolph’s Huge Game Leads Pittsburgh Steelers to 34-11 Win over Cincinnati Bengals

When his team needed a win, Rudolph delivered.

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[Devin Wilber/PFB]

Needing to break a three-game skid to keep their playoff hopes alive, the Steelers handed the reins to Rudolph on Christmas Eve’s Eve. How was he not going to deliver?

Former Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph led Pittsburgh to a 34-11 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, a division rival also in a must-win game, on Saturday night. He unleashed a Steelers’ offense that hadn’t scored more than 26 all season. Those 34 points were the most by Pittsburgh in a win since 2020.

Rudolph had not started a game in over two years, but he didn’t show any signs of rust on Saturday. On the second offensive play of the game, and his first pass attempt, Rudolph hit recently maligned wideout George Pickens on a slant route that ended 86 yards away in the end zone.

The two connected for four catches for 195 yards and two scores.

Rudolph finished 17-for-27 for 290 yards and two touchdowns and zero interceptions. His passer rating of 124 was a career high. It was also the first time a Steelers QB has passed for 250+ yards and 2+ touchdowns since Ben Roethlisberger in 2021, according to CBS.

 

Steelers Pro Bowl linebacker T.J. Watt was asked about Rudolph’s performance after the game.

“It was huge, but I’m not surprised,” Watt said. “The guy has put in so much hard work. He’s always so attentive, being a true professional, not know when his chance is going to come. But all that hard work paid off tonight when he got his opportunity, and of course some guys helped him out and made some big plays. I’m very happy for him.”

Rudolph moved to 6-4-1 as an NFL starter. This opportunity came after Pittsburgh’s QB1, Kenny Pickett, went down with injury in Week 12. Mitchell Trubisky took over for three weeks, but the results were as many picks as TDs, a sluggish offense and three-straight losses.

The Steelers head to Seattle for another must-win game on New Year’s Eve. The status of Pickett is still unclear as of writing, but Rudolph surely did enough on Saturday to solidify his standing above Trubisky. The long-time Steeler definitely earned some brownie points from the home crowd.

Here’s Rudolph on the win.

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