Steelers Fall to 0-2 to Start the Season Despite Rudolph’s Solid Day

By Jared Villani

The Pittsburgh Steelers offense started off very lackluster and couldn’t find any momentum on their first drive. However, T.J. Watt set quite the tone early for the defense, getting to Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson for his first sack of the 2019 season.

Although Wilson and the Seahawks offense started flashing some signs of explosiveness with runs from Chris Carson and a big reception from Tyler Lockett, the Steelers defense showed tremendous resiliency. Stephon Tuitt and Mark Barron tormented Wilson on this drive, as Tuitt collected his second sack to end Seattle’s drive.

The Steelers offense was able to show some life with Vance McDonald and James Conner chipping away downfield, and rookie Benny Snell Jr. got free for a 23-yard run. Unfortunately, it was not enough for Pittsburgh to make their first trip to the red-zone and they would punt once again.

The defense continued its dominance as Watt forced a fumble on Chris Carson and Mark Barron was there for the takeaway, setting the Steelers up comfortably in the red-zone. James Conner pounded the ball in on the Seattle 1-yard line to give Pittsburgh a 7-0 lead over the Seahawks.

Seattle sought revenge on Pittsburgh and marched down field and after a costly Pittsburgh penalty on 4th down, Russell Wilson took advantage of and found tight end Will Dissly to put Seattle on the board.

The Steelers took a 7-play drive deep down field, but ultimately turned to Chris Boswell to add to their point total. Pittsburgh now leads 10-7 over Seattle.

As the second half began, an elbow injury Ben Roethlisberger suffered in the first half would cost him playing time in the third as Mason Rudolph got his first career snaps to relieve Big Ben. Unfortunately, Donte Moncrief‘s continuous issues with dropping passes continued and caused a Steelers turnover as Bradley McDougald picked the young quarterback off.

The Seattle interception turned out to further haunt the Steelers as it led to another Russell Wilson to Will Dissly touchdown. Seattle now leads 14-10.

Offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner dialed up a play forRudolph to showcase his “gunslinging” ability with a deep pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster to set up Boswell for a 33-yard field goal. Pittsburgh trails 13-14 as the 3rd quarter draws closer to an end.

After the Steelers field goal, Russell Wilson did not hold back and helped lead the Seahawks downfield once again. This time, running back Rashaad Penny got downhill speed and got free for a 37-yard touchdown to give Seattle a 21 to 13 lead over Pittsburgh.

Even without Big Ben, Mason Rudolph showed fantastic poise and led his offense downfield effectively as he fought for yardage on the ground and showed great vision to find open receivers. Perhaps the most impressive play was Rudolph adjusting to find tight end Vance McDonald for a much-needed Steelers touchdown. After an unsuccessful two-point conversion, the Steelers still trail 19 to 21.

Russell Wilson took advantage of another poorly-timed Pittsburgh penalty as a defensive pass interference set Seattle up for rookie D.K. Metcalf to punish the Steelers secondary on a 28-yard touchdown. Seattle regains a two-score lead of 28-19 over Pittsburgh.

After a Chris Carson fumble, Steelers rookie Devin Bush recovered and nearly ran it back for a touchdown, but the ball was downed at the one-yard line. It only took one play for Rudolph to strike again as he found Vance McDonald for his second touchdown of the game. Steelers trim the deficit down to two points, now 28 to 26.

Unfortunately, the Steelers are 0-2 to start off the season and this matchup could have gone the other way very easily, but sloppy play and costly penalties proved to be the difference maker.


Pittsburgh Stat Leaders:

Mason Rudolph 12-19 for 112 Yards 2 Pass Touchdowns and One Interception

James Conner 11 for 33 Yards and One Touchdown

JuJu Smith-Schuster 5 Receptions for 84 Yards

Terrell Edmunds 11 Tackles and Stephon Tuitt 2.5 Sacks


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One Comment

  1. RICK B

    September 16, 2019 at 11:04 am






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