Rudolph suffers concussion as Steelers lose controversial game to Ravens in OT

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Rudolph suffers concussion as Steelers lose controversial game to Ravens in OT

Office of the Maryland Governor on Flickr [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Office of the Maryland Governor on Flickr [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Office of the Maryland Governor on Flickr [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Dylan Shields, Opinions Editor, Sports Writer

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The classic AFC North rivalry renewed Sunday afternoon as the Steelers and Ravens battled, each looking to get a must-needed win after a struggling start to the season.  The QB dual went from Roethlisberger vs Flacco to Rudolph vs Jackson in a year.

In the early first quarter, the Steelers offense struggled to gain any yards, including an interesting wildcat formation, which led to Steelers running back Jaylen Samuels throwing an interception.  Ravens running back Mark Ingram would take advantage of the turnover, pounding it for a touchdown to give the Ravens a 10-0 lead.

On the next drive, Rudolph led the Steelers to a much-needed TD drive with a 35-yard pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster, who broke a tackle on the play.

Immediately, Ravens QB Lamar Jackson flashed his talents leading his team to a 12-play TD drive to go back up 10.

After a couple of interceptions forced by the Steelers D and a couple of field goals, the Steelers were down 17-13 at the half.  And just when you think it couldn’t get any more intense, it did in the second half.

In the early third quarter, on a third-and-12, Rudolph extended the play and made a spectacular throw for a first down.  However, after he threw the ball, Ravens Cornerback Earl Thomas hit with his helmet Rudolph on the chin, knocking him out unconscious.  The fans, players on both teams, and coaches were really concerned for Rudolph due to him being motionless for minutes.  There was controversy because no penalty flag was thrown, and fans wanted Thomas ejected with a “throw him out” chant.

Luckily, Rudolph was able to get up and walk off the field.  However, he was wobbly and really didn’t know where he was at.  He was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with a concussion.

Back to the game, the Steelers had to go to their final QB on the roster, D. Hodges.  He led the offense to a 10-play TD drive culminating with a James Conner run.

In the fourth quarter, both teams would trade field goals, and the Steelers would be up 23-20 with 2:00 left.  Quarterback D. Hodges looked impressive in the fourth quarter, as this was his first ever NFL appearance in the regular season.

On the next drive, another controversial moment occurred.  On a second-and-12, Jackson threw it short to Ingram for a loss of a yard.  However, the refs caught the Steelers for roughing the passer.  On the replay, the hit didn’t look late or hard at all.  The reason it was called was that Jackson was hit low, but it didn’t look convincing.

Eventually, this would lead to a game-tying field goal by Justin Tucker, sending the game to overtime.

In the third and final controversial moment, the Steelers won the coin toss, but Mike Tomlin elected to give the ball to the Ravens instead of receiving the ball.

After a couple of plays, Smith-Schuster fumbled the ball, and the Ravens recovered in Pittsburgh territory.  This would lead to the game-winning field goal by Justin Tucker, giving the Ravens the 26-23 win.

The Steelers (1-4) next week play the Chargers (2-5) Sunday night.  Meanwhile, the Ravens (3-2) play the 0-5 Bengals at 1 p.m. Sunday.

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