“When you’ve got a defense like ours you can probably beat anybody.”
When Steelers’ quarterback Devlin Hodges was asked about getting back-to-back wins against teams whose quarterback was the first overall pick in the NFL draft, he gave credit where credit was due. Since Hodges was not on the field at the same time as the opposing teams’ offensive signal caller, he wisely pointed out the fact it’s the Steelers defense who has been holding opposing quarterbacks in check.
Regardless, Hodges did what was needed in order to secure a victory for the Steelers over the last two weeks. With only a combined 10 incompletions, he has completed 30 of 40 passes for 364 yards and two touchdowns. While these numbers are sometime put up in a single week by quarterbacks of the likes of Ben Roethlisberger, Hodges has been efficient in order to secure Steelers’ victories.
In Week 13, Hodges out dueled 2018 number one overall pick Baker Mayfield by out gaining him in yards while they both threw an interception. In Week 14, Hodges secured the win over 2019 number one pick Kyler Murray by taking care of the ball. Murray did throw for 40 more yards than Hodges, but his three interceptions made the difference in the game while Hodges didn’t throw any.
Comparing statistics is interesting, but to think Hodges is going to constantly out perform these highly touted picks is asking a lot. What matters is how Hodges is managing the game with the ball in his hand while the opposing quarterback in waiting on the sideline. And what ultimately matters most, in both matchups Hodges has come out victorious.
“I’ve never really thought about beating the number one player taken this year or last year,” Hodges stated in his post-game press conference. “I just want to get out there and beat the opposing quarterback because that’s the opposing quarterback.”
Along with doing a lot of good things on the field, Hodges has learned to say a lot of good things as well. Understanding it’s his defense who is holding down opposing quarterbacks is important. Worrying about one game at a time is key. As of right now, it just feels like he gets it.
Along with getting victories over first overall picks the last two weeks, Devlin “Duck” Hodges has now become the first undrafted rookie to win his first three starts at quarterback in the NFL since 1987. But as far as he’s concerned, the record means nothing to him because he wasn’t trying to set any records. Hodges was just trying to win each game.
Three games started. Three games won. In those three games, the opposing quarterbacks were: 2004 fourth overall pick Philip Rivers. 2018 first overall pick Baker Mayfield. 2019 first overall pick Kyler Murray.
Next week, the Steelers get some reprieve as they take on 2018 seventh overall pick Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills. And as Hodges said to the on-field reporter after the game, “We’ve just got to worry about next week.”
Hodges on-field post-game interview:
“We got great players, and great coaches. When you get a good game plan it makes it easier.”— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) December 9, 2019
Devlin Hodges explains the secret to winning three straight games as the Steelers’ starting QB. pic.twitter.com/1i9MqVzbE2
Hodges post-game press conference: