With things starting to settle in with Mason Rudolph at quarterback, things could be trending up for Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
It hasn’t been the easiest of seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh found itself in a huge hole after starting the year at 0-3. The Steelers lost starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for the season in Week 2 and his backup Mason Rudolph suffered a concussion against the Baltimore Ravens a few weeks later. All the while, they’ve still had JuJu Smith-Schuster at wide receiver.
With the Steelers playing very well in the second half on Monday Night Football, albeit against the winless Miami Dolphins at home, there is a reason to believe that the new No. 1 wideout for the Steelers could be trending up in recent weeks. Or at least The Fantasy Footballers this so.
Mike Wright of The Fantasy Footballers credits that it hasn’t been as bad as you think it has been for Smith-Schuster in the Steelers passing game. Having a great sense of continuity with Rudolph presumably back in the fold the rest of the way could make for a compelling second half for a Steelers team that is still in the mix to contend for a playoff spot, believe it or not.
Of course, being a 3-4 with wins over the Dolphins, Los Angeles Chargers and Cincinnati Bengals could be fool’s gold more than anything. However, the Steelers still have two games in division against the dysfunctional Cleveland Browns and a shot apiece at the terrible Bengals and the division-leading Baltimore Ravens before regular season’s end.
Overall, Pittsburgh is probably not going to make the AFC playoffs for the second consecutive season. The Steelers have nine weeks to play catch-up to surpass what looks to be a pretty good Ravens team to win the AFC North. A Wild Card spot could still be in play, but there are a few other teams in the AFC that are more serious threats to get in that way than the Steelers.
Fortunately, Smith-Schuster is finding himself in his first year as the Steelers’ No. 1 wide receiver. It has not been a great season for Steelers football in any capacity, but if Pittsburgh is going to push for playoff contention, he’ll be a huge reason for it. Look for Rudolph to continue to find Smith-Schuster in the Pittsburgh passing game the rest of the season.