The Pittsburgh Steelers will stay with the hot hand under center and start quarterback Mason Rudolph against the Buffalo Bills in Sunday’s AFC Wild Card game, per head coach Mike Tomlin. Kenny Pickett and Mitch Trubisky will be the team’s backup quarterback and emergency QB. Pickett is said to be healthy, so he has effectively been benched in favor of Rudolph.
Rudolph took over for Pittsburgh in Week 16 against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Steelers were 7-7 at the time and coming off losses to the Arizona Cardinals, New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts. Rudolph finished 17-of-27 passing for 290 yards with two touchdowns against Cincinnati and led Pittsburgh to a much needed win. He then helped the team pick up wins against the Seattle Seahawks and Baltimore Ravens (who were resting starters) to help the Steelers clinch a playoff berth.
Despite making the playoffs in three of the last four seasons, Pittsburgh hasn’t won a playoff game since 2016. They beat the Miami Dolphins 30-12 in the Wild Card round that year and followed it up with an 18-16 win over the Kansas City Chiefs before falling to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.