2014 Steelers season scenarios: Roethlisberger breaks own single season TD mark

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Roethlisberger owns almost every record a quarterback can own within the Pittsburgh Steelers record books. Why Roethlisberger will be re-writing some history in 2014.

Scenario: Ben Roethlisberger breaks single season touchdown record in 2014.

Why it will happen: Entering the prime of his career, Ben Roethlisberger has essentially re-written the record book in terms of team history at the quarterback position. He currently holds the single season touchdown mark with 32 touchdowns thrown in 2007. In 2014, he could certainly break that record.

Roethlisberger is quarterbacking an offensive unit that essentially remains intact from 2013 where he put up 28 touchdowns, but the key to this scenario is the offensive line. Roethlisberger will always have teammates to catch the football if he has time to make his reads and create plays.

On top of the line staying healthy, Roethlisberger's numbers in the red zone look as if they could improve this season and put him over the single season mark.

Roethlisberger is finally getting his security blanket back with 100 percent health. Heath Miller only missed a hand full of games last year, but wasn't the same player that he was before his knee injury. Miller has long been known as Roethlisberger's favorite safety valve, and in the red zone his skill set will be crucial.

Lance Moore is a great addition with nearly 75 percent of his touchdown receptions coming in the red zone, and running back Le'Veon Bell will certainly get his share of red zone receptions that could certainly lead to increased touchdown totals for Big Ben.

Lastly, with the Steelers relying heavily on the no huddle offense, it will be up to Roethlisberger to read the defense and make the correct play call, especially in the red zone. This control will ultimately allow Roethlisberger to be more creative in the red zone and put up better passing totals because of it.

Why it won't happen: Roethlisberger's health and the health of the offensive line is almost always the deterrent from Roethlisberger setting mind shattering statistics, and this scenario is no different. Roethlisberger throwing at least 33 touchdowns is no easy task, and he will need players around him to all do their part if he expects to set a new franchise mark in touchdown passes.

On top of injuries and the offensive line, Roethlisberger's weapons aren't exactly what they were in 2013. Gone are Jerricho Cotchery, 10 touchdown receptions in 2013, and Emmanuel Sanders, 6 touchdowns last year. Those two players accounted for over half of the receiving touchdowns the Steelers contributed in 2013. Replacing that production won't happen overnight.

Just as the no huddle was a reason why the record could be broken, it also could be a reason why this scenario won't come to fruition. Roethlisberger has shown that when in the no huddle offense, that doesn't equate to a pass happy offensive scheme. Rather, Roethlisberger makes run calls nearly 50 percent of the time out of the no huddle, which wouldn't help him break any passing records in 2014.

Keys: Roethlisberger playing in another full season certainly will be key with him possibly breaking this single season record, but the production of his teammates from the offensive line down to the receivers could be just as crucial.

If the offensive line can keep Roethlisberger upright, as they did in the second half of 2013, then Roethlisberger will be able to make plays, but if they collapse and Big Ben is under constant pressure, that story never ends well.

The new additions to the Steelers offense leave an unknown factor that will only be determined when the 2014 season starts, but will ultimately lead to the success or failure of this scenario and Roethlisberger setting a new single season touchdown mark.

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