One can anticipate the Steelers, then, to go run-heavy with James Conner and the related Jaylen Samuels wrinkles to attack the Chargers' defensive weakness. The issue will be when the Chargers move the ball and finish drives, which they didn't do against the Broncos, and eventually force Hodges (or Rudolph) to throw more against their edge rush and secondary.
Los Angeles has proven to be the same old Chargers in 2019, continuing to fall below expectations. L.A. is 1-4 against the spread, losing straight up three times as a favorite. Pittsburgh covered the spread in Mason Rudolph’s first start. The Steelers probably should’ve beaten the Ravens in Week 5 with their third-string quarterback seeing significant playing time.
The Steelers (1-4) might win this game. However, we have no clue who the quarterback will be. Also, the Chargers (3-2) face a must-win. If they lose to the one-win Steelers on Sunday night, it’s freefall time.
This line implies there’s a downgrade from Mason Rudolph to Devlin Hodges at quarterback for the Steelers, but there might be evidence to the contrary. Hodges looked more poised than Rudolph when he took over last week, completing seven of nine passes for an average of 7.6 yards per attempt.
The Chargers have looked nothing like the playoff team from last year, failing to generate points and coming off a loss to the winless Broncos at home. The Steelers haven’t won a West Coast game since they beat the Chargers in San Diego in 2015 (0-4).
Rough times for Pittsburgh continued with a devastating OT loss to bitter rival Baltimore and loss of QB Mason Rudolph to a vicious hit. The Chargers got careless with the ball and paid for it a stunning loss to the previously winless Broncos. At least Los Angeles has its starting quarterback. Pittsburgh is on its third.
Rudolph has not technically been ruled out, and has been a limited participant in practice, but it’s quite likely that Devlin Hodges, an undrafted free-agent rookie out of Samford, will start at quarterback. Hodges’s last start came against East Tennessee State, so the Chargers (2-3) should present quite a challenge.
The Chargers have so many injuries that are showing up on Sundays. The Steelers will likely be playing third-team quarterback Devlin Hodges for Mason Rudolph. He came off the bench last week and did some good things, but starting is a different story.
Maybe I’m a simpleton, but I can’t justify taking “Duck” Hodges, an undrafted product out of SMU, to keep it close on the road in his first career NFL start. Also got this from Odds Shark: L.A. is 11-2-1 against the spread after an ATS loss.
Pittsburgh averages just 3.5 yards per carry and you know it’s going to try to run the ball a ton with Hodges as quarterback. Melvin Gordon got his first game action and struggled last week. Maybe he’ll shake the cobwebs off and help lead the Chargers to a much-needed win.
What Mike said. Until Devlin Hodges proves otherwise, I’m just going to assume he sucks.
I’m sure the Steelers’ doctors know what they’re doing, and they can properly determine if Mason Rudolph should be cleared to play. But we all saw Rudolph gets knocked unconscious last week. It was one of the scariest injuries you’ll see. The Steelers are 1-4. They have a bye next week. There’s no reason for Rudolph to be rushed back for Sunday’s game. Hopefully the Steelers play it safe with him.