A lot of things had to happen between May and November to get Devlin Hodges in the starting lineup for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Aside from all the things that went right for himself, it took Ben Roethlisberger getting injured, Nick Foles getting injured—prompting the Jacksonville Jaguars to offer a fifth-round pick for Joshua Dobbs, a backup that as it turns out they didn’t need—and then Mason Rudolph struggling and having a four-interception game.
Now Hodges, three games into his full-time starting career (he has one prior start due to injury) put down his own four-interception game. When this was Rudolph, he got a half plus a drive before he was yanked the following week while continuing to struggle.
With Rudolph lurking, how does Hodges approach trying to avoid the same fate? “You just got to get focused on next week”, he told reporters after the game. “Got to go in tomorrow, learn from your mistakes. Usually you can learn from these type of games more than you can in a win and a better performance. So I’ll just go in there and learn and get better. Got to shake it off and go”.
Make no mistake, the Buffalo Bills are the best defense that Hodges has had to face so far, and they showed it. While the rookie was able to make a handful of nice throws, including a couple of deep connections with James Washington, he was off overall. He averaged just 5.3 yards per pass attempt on 38 attempts, and took four sacks, the majority of which he shares at least partial blame.
He posted an overall 43.9 quarterback rating after finishing the game with one touchdown to four interceptions. And while the interceptions were entirely on him making bad decisions or poor throws, his touchdown was a YAC gift of 11 yards to running back James Conner. That was how his first touchdown win as well. He’s gotten good performance with runs after the catch on several of his touchdowns.
It will be an interesting couple of days for Mike Tomlin and the Steelers. In the heat of the moment, he’s not going to do a lot of contemplation about the quarterback position, but right now, I don’t think we can safely say who will take the majority of the starter’s reps during Tuesday’s practice.
The Steelers are now 8-6, and while they retain their current positioning for the sixth seed, they now must win their final two games in order to guarantee a spot in the playoffs. They are both on the road, against the New York Jets and a Baltimore Ravens team who will hopefully be resting starters with the number one seed locked up.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) December 16, 2019