Ben Roethlisberger has never been known as the most mobile quarterback in the NFL, but he managed to outrush one of the league’s best running backs in Week 1. His backup, Duck Hodges, seemed as entertained by that as the rest of us.
Roethlisberger had nine rushing yards on three attempts in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ win over the New York Giants on Monday night. Shockingly, Giants superstar Saquon Barkley only rushed for six yards on 15 carries. Hodges felt that was enough to prove Roethlisberger is a dual-threat quarterback.
Roethlisberger has 1,366 rushing yards in his entire career, and most of those came when he was a lot younger. We’d be surprised if he ever out-rushed Barkley again in a game, so he should enjoy that while he can.
Hodges quickly became a fan favorite last season when he saw some time filling in for Big Ben, but the magic wore off. His sense of humor should keep him in the good graces of Steeler Nation.
The NFL regular season is over, and we know the 12 playoff teams that will be chasing the Super Bowl this year. For others, Sunday brought the bitter end, or raised new questions heading into the most important stretch of the season. It’s those teams who will be left licking their wounds — some even while preparing for another game next week.
Here are ten big disappointments from the final week of the NFL season.
Referees, NFL at end of Seahawks-49ers game
There’s no way around it: the referees on the field missed a blatant pass interference by San Francisco on 3rd-and-goal at the end of “Sunday Night Football.” The refs missing the call is bad, but what was equally bad — if not worse — was the lack of a booth review. The NFL now has the ability to intercede and correct a badly missed pass interference call such as this one, yet they failed to act. The Seahawks came up short on 4th-and-goal (a good call by the officials), but the missed pass interference was a game-changer. That was the difference between the 49ers having the top seed and the Packers getting it; the difference between the Saints getting a bye and having to play in the wild card round; and the Seahawks having the fifth seed rather than the third.
Pete Carroll, Seahawks coaches
The NFL and referees missed a pass interference on 3rd-and-goal, but that doesn’t absolve the Seahawks’ coaches from their mistakes. Seattle inexplicably took a delay of game penalty on 2nd-and-goal in the final minute. How did they have a full play clock to execute a play and make that error in that situation? Because of the penalty, the ball was moved back from the one to the six, and they had to sub out Marshawn Lynch from the goal-line package. Seattle was unable to get in on three straight pass plays after that and did themselves no favors in the 26-21 loss.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will be forced to turn to Devlin Hodges once again in their do-or-die Week 17 game.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, quarterback Mason Rudolph is likely to miss Pittsburgh’s game at Baltimore due to a left shoulder injury. That means Hodges will start again, with Paxton Lynch backing him up.
It’s far from the ideal scenario for the Steelers, who benched Hodges during Sunday’s game before Rudolph’s injury forced them to bring him back. Hodges has thrown six interceptions in his last two starts and doesn’t have a single game with multiple touchdown passes this season. Even if the Ravens rest players, this is absolutely not the matchup Pittsburgh wants.
There are scenarios where the Steelers can lose and still get in, but they obviously require help from elsewhere and multiple other results to go their way. Their best hope is that Hodges can shake off his recent issues and just find a way to win this game.
The Pittsburgh Steelers decided to stick with Devlin Hodges as their starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets, but it was not long before the rookie got himself benched.
Mike Tomlin went back to Mason Rudolph early in the first half after Hodges threw his second interception. Hodges threw four picks in last week’s loss to the Buffalo Bills.
Tomlin said earlier in the season that Rudolph would keep the starting job as long as he protected the football, and he then gave Hodges a chance after Rudolph turned it over too much. He appears to be following that same principle with both of his quarterbacks, and Rudolph will now have a chance to prove himself once again.
The Steelers entered Sunday with an 8-6 record and are still in playoff contention. They are hoping Rudolph can provide stability at the most important position on the field at a crucial time.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Devlin Hodges had a night to forget in his team’s loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, but the poor performance is not going to cost him his starting job.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin announced on Wednesday that Hodges will start against the New York Jets.
Hodges, an undrafted rookie out of Samford, won his first three starts for Pittsburgh after taking over for Mason Rudolph. However, he threw four interceptions in Sunday’s 17-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills, and the final score shows how costly the turnovers were.
The Steelers remain in playoff contention despite not having Ben Roethlisberger, and Mike Tomlin is an obvious Coach of the Year candidate. If the postseason began today, Pittsburgh would be in with the second wild card spot in the AFC.
Sunday’s game against the Jets is certainly winnable, and the Steelers close out the season on the road against a Baltimore Ravens team that may have the No. 1 seed locked up by then and nothing to play for. Tomlin obviously feels Duck gives the team the best chance to win.
Devlin Hodges was terrible for the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday night, and it’s thrown the team’s quarterback question right back to the forefront.
After winning his first three starts, the undrafted rookie tanked against Buffalo, throwing four interceptions to the best defense he’s faced yet. It was enough to lead the media to ask coach Mike Tomlin if the quarterback’s job was safe, which didn’t really get a yes or no answer.
“I am not getting into that, guys,” Tomlin said, via Chris Adamski of TribLive. “We just lost a football game. I’m not going to make an announcement every week or every time I stand in front of you guys in terms of who is playing quarterback or any other position for that matter.”
We know the Steelers have had no problems switching quarterbacks mid-season this year. The question is whether or not Hodges built up enough goodwill during his previous starts to keep the job. He didn’t play great, but he managed the team to victories, and Buffalo is a great defense. It’s a story worth watching this week.
The NFL regular season is winding down, and the stakes are high. As clarity starts to develop in some of the playoff races, the pressure increases for those still in contention. It’s not just them, though; every team has players fighting for jobs, and even teams long out of the playoff hunt are still trying very hard to bolster their reputations and statistics down the stretch.
So who failed to deliver? Who disappointed in Week 15? Here’s a look at some who did.
Duck Hodges, QB, Steelers
The Steelers have been winning games this season by relying on their defense and hoping their offense doesn’t screw it up, or does just enough to win. They needed a little more than that from their offense on Sunday, but they didn’t get it. Duck Hodges was intercepted four times and sacked four times in a 17-10 loss. They were up 10-7 and in Buffalo territory before Duck threw a game-changing interception that allowed the Bills to flip the field and tie the game. Then with the Steelers hoping for some magic late to tie the game, Duck threw interceptions in the end zone on consecutive possessions. He just wasn’t able to do enough.
Los Angeles Rams’ defense
The Rams defense has actually been a pretty sturdy unit except for a couple games, like the ones against Baltimore and Tampa Bay. On Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys joined those groups, putting up 28 first half points and 44 overall on the Rams. The rush defense was the Rams’ real weakness. Both Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott ran for over 100 yards and got basically whatever they wanted whenever they touched the ball. It was a big setback for the Rams, who at 8-6 are facing an uphill playoff climb.
The Pittsburgh Steelers benched Mason Rudolph in favor Devlin Hodges during Sunday’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals, and it appears they are going to stick with the rookie quarterback.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin announced on Tuesday that Hodges will start in Week 13 against the Cleveland Browns.
Rudolph completed 8-of-16 passes for 85 yards and an interception and generated only three points against the Bengals before Hodges replaced him. The Steelers were trailing 7-3 at the time, and Hodges made an immediate impact by throwing a long touchdown pass to James Washington on his first possession. Pittsburgh ended up winning 16-10.
Hodges’ only other action this season came in Week 6, when he helped the Steelers defeat the Los Angeles Chargers. The former FCS star has quickly become a fan favorite in part because of his nickname, Duck. He explained the origin behind the nickname earlier this season, and we’ll likely hear a lot about it this week and potentially beyond.
Duck Hodges replaced Mason Rudolph during the third quarter of Sunday’s Pittsburgh Steelers-Cincinnati Bengals game and immediately made a difference.
Rudolph went 8/16 for 85 yards and an interception and generated only three points. Pittsburgh was trailing Cincinnati 7-3 and had gone 3-and-out on their first possession of the third quarter. That’s when Mike Tomlin decided to make a quarterback switch to Duck.
On his first possession, Hodges threw a long pass to James Washington, who scored a 79-yard touchdown.
This was Duck’s first action since helping the Steelers beat the Chargers in Week 6. The touchdown pass marked the second of his career.
Devlin Hodges has been thrust into a starting quarterback role for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he is easy to remember thanks to a catchy nickname.
The former FCS star is nicknamed “Duck,” and he shared the origins of the nickname prior to his start on “Sunday Night Football” against the Chargers.
“I got the nickname actually in college. A bunch of guys on the team were like, ‘if he’s duck, it’s duck season.’ My head coach started calling me ‘duck.’ It stuck with me ever since,” Hodges said in a piece aired by NBC.
Hodges threw for an FCS record 14,584 yards at Samford, breaking Steve McNair’s career passing yards record.
His college coach, Chris Hatcher, claims credit for the “Duck” nickname.
“‘Duck’ is not a great nickname for a QB, (because the term ‘duck’ can mean a poorly-thrown pass), but I’m just an old simple guy from Macon, Ga., and ‘Devlin’ was just hard for me to say all the time … So he got talking about (his duck-calling skills), and I got to picking at him a little bit about it, and I said, ‘Man, I just am gonna start calling you Duck.’ And it kinda stuck. In fact in my phone, it says ‘Duck Hodges’ in there. It kinda took off from there,” Hatcher told the Pittsburgh Tribune.
Beyond just being a record-breaking quarterback, Hodges was the 2009 Junior World Duck Calling Champion and the 2018 Alabama Duck Calling champion. Duck loves to hunt, and hunt ducks, as you could imagine.
“Duck” is more than just a nickname; it’s a talent for Hodges.
Duck Hodges even lives the duck life. He shared a quote about a duck, saying “Always behave like a duck. Keep calm and unruffled on the surface, but paddle like hell underwater.”