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Mason Rudolph was anything but cool under pressure in 2019

Football Outsiders look at pressure and DVOA wasn’t kind to the Steelers young quarterback.

NFL: AUG 25 Preseason - Titans at Steelers Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It shouldn’t surprise anyone if I tell you that Mason Rudolph wasn’t a good NFL quarterback in 2019. The young man was clearly not prepared to lead an NFL offense in his second season, and opposing defenses took advantage. Few things show those struggles as well as Football Outsiders’ comparison of quarterback DVOA with and without pressure.

Mason Rudolph took an average of 2.8 seconds to throw the football, which ranks him a bit below the middle among NFL quarterbacks. It was a pretty steep increase from Ben Roethlisberger’s 2.55 seconds in 2018, lied with Derek Carr for the fastest in the NFL. Considering that, it is unsurprising that Mason Rudolph faced pressure on 30.2% of pass attempts, the 14th highest rate in the NFL (out of 34 qualifying QBs). That is up from 23.8%, the third lowest rate in the NFL in 2018 for Ben Roethlisberger.

When pressured, Mason Rudolph’s DVOA was -143.6%, the worst on the list. Not only was he the worst in 2019, he was the worst since 2015, when the Browns Brian Hoyer was even worse. Without pressure, he was better, although still not good. Rudolph ranked 27th out of 34 quarterbacks in DVOA without pressure.

The numbers include scrambles and passes, even defensive pass interference yards, and Mason Rudolph still only averaged 1.9 yards on plays where the defense recorded a pressure.

Ben Roethlisberger didn’t make the list in 2019, but showed well for years, finishing top 10 in DVOA with and without pressure. 2018 was a drop off year for the Steelers star quarterback, when he finished 20th in DVOA with pressure, and 14th without. If that drop off was due to his elbow or Randy Fichtner taking over the offense, Ben Roethlisberger could see a jump back up in the rankings, as his elbow has been repaired and the Steelers added Matt Canada to help Randy Fichtner make the Steelers offense more effective.

Lastly, although Devlin Hodges didn’t throw enough passes to make the list, the article mentioned that Hodges had a DVOA of -107.7%, which would have ranked 4th worst on the list had he qualified. Ben Roethlisberger’s 2018 DVOA while pressured of -61.3% would be a big improvement, while his 2015 through 2017 numbers all right around -40% would be outstanding to see.

The remaining Steelers quarterback, Paxton Lynch, has never qualified for the rankings, but was mentioned (like Hodges this year) in his rookie year of 2016 when he posted a -166.8% DVOA when pressured.

While Steelers fans hope that Ben Roethlisberger can return to form and be a top quarterback again with his surgically repaired elbow, fans also have to hope that if any of the backup quarterbacks are forced to play that they will have improved since their first run of starting in the NFL.

You can read the original article HERE.