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Steelers News: With the Andy Dalton benching, the AFC North gets a complete QB makeover

Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are moving into Week 9 of the NFL regular season, and as the team prepares for the Indianapolis Colts this week we continue to provide you with features, commentary and opinions to tide you over until the next game starts!

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at how after the Cincinnati Bengals benched Andy Dalton recently, it marks a unique time in the AFC North division.

Let’s get to the news:

  • It is hard to believe, but in Week 9 of the 2019 regular season the entire AFC North will have a quarterback who hasn’t started a full season at the helm. Baker Mayfield with the Cleveland Browns, Lamar Jackson with the Baltimore Ravens, Mason Rudolph with the Pittsburgh Steelers and now Ryan Finley with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Kevin Gorman’s Who Runs the North?: Bengals bungle benching of Andy Dalton for a rookie

By: Kevin Gorman, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The Bengals demoted Dalton after 128 career starts, which produced a 68-58-2 record. They demoted Dalton after he completed 32 of 52 passes for 329 yards and a touchdown without an interception in a 24-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams at Wembley Stadium in London. They benched Dalton, despite a dreadful offensive line that has allowed him to be sacked 29 times this season, third-most in the league.

Of course, the Bengals (0-8) do have the worst record in the NFL.

It wasn’t so much the plays that Dalton made that got him benched but rather the ones he didn’t. Dalton threw a touchdown pass to Joe Mixon to tie the game at 10-10 but was sacked on a third-and-10 late in the second quarter, taking the Bengals out of field-goal range while trailing, 17-10. The Bengals also were stopped on fourth-and-goal from the 6 when Auden Tate’s catch in the end zone was ruled incomplete upon review.

No wonder he had a career-worst 38.8 rating.

After a bye, rookie Ryan Finley will make his first NFL start against the AFC North-leading Ravens. Finley joins a division that features second-year quarterbacks in Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson, Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield and the Steelers’ Mason Rudolph. No doubt the team whose signal-caller performs the best will take control.

We know this much with certainty: It won’t be the Bengals.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Were you hoping for Devlin Hodges in the early portions of Week 8 on Monday night? Mike Tomlin wasn’t...

Mike Tomlin maintained ‘confidence’ in Steelers’ Mason Rudolph during early adversity

By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Despite Mason Rudolph’s poor start that resulted in a non-existent passer rating after the first quarter Monday night, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin had no intention of having backup Devlin Hodges begin warming up for possible relief duty.

Tomlin made that clear Tuesday at his weekly press conference when he offered a terse response to a reporter’s question about why he didn’t have Hodges get ready on the sideline.

Tomlin paused, looked around the room and said, “Next.”

Rudolph recovered to throw for 251 yards and two touchdowns in the Steelers’ 27-14 victory against the Miami Dolphins.

Rudolph was starting for the first time since he sustained a concussion 22 days earlier against Baltimore. It was his fourth career NFL start. Tomlin said the long layoff presented a “unique” challenge to the second-year quarterback.

“We’ve got a lot of confidence in him,” Tomlin said. “We didn’t need to see that. We’ve been working with him going on a couple years. That’s just in his DNA. That’s one reason the guys rally around him and believe in him.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Monday Night Football is awful, and has been bad for years. But they did make one addition by subtraction to the broadcast...

ESPN ditches MNF halftime music videos

By: Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk

Many were surprised to see those awkward, black-and-white, truncated musical performances return to halftime of Monday Night Football games in 2019. But now, after seven weeks of the season, the ’80s-style music videos are no more.

Via, ESPN executives “decided that using halftime for more news and analysis was ultimately the best way to serve our NFL fans.”

The musical acts never really resonated. Most if not all consisted of lip-syncing. Few were actually live. Some, like the Charlie Puth pool party video played during halftime of last Monday’s Patriots-Jets game, had no apparent geographic or temporal connection to the contest in which they were featured.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

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