Believe it or not, the Pittsburgh Steelers report to training camp on July 25th, and we are digging up the '32 Scenarios in 32 Days' segment to help us all pass the time. Once a day we will be drafting a potential 2015 season scenario, telling you why it will happen, why it won't and giving you important keys for the scenario to take place.
Scenario: Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger throws 40 touchdown passes in 2015.
Why it will happen: The Pittsburgh Steelers offense will be absolutely lethal in 2015, if everyone can stay healthy. That is an 'if' worth worrying about, but when the team has it's full arsenal of weapons, they could set franchise records for points scored and very well could be the NFL's best offensive unit.
32 scenarios in 32 days: Holliman makes the 53
The Steelers drafted a ball-hawk in the 7th round of the 2015 NFL Draft, but Gerod Holliman has his deficiencies. Will he be able to make the team's 53-man roster this year?
As impressive as 2014 was, Ben Roethlisberger threw for 32 touchdowns, which tied a career high for No. 7. Can he throw 40 in 2015? I think he can. The weapons at Roethlisberger's disposal are tremendous compared to any other time in his career. He threw 8 of his 32 touchdowns in 2014 to Martavis Bryant, who wasn't activated through the first 6 weeks of the NFL season. How many touchdowns could he have caught in those 6 weeks? We will never know, but Bryant opens up the field for others, especially Antonio Brown and Markus Wheaton.
Roethlisberger has proven he can put up big numbers, as he threw for 6 touchdowns in back-to-back weeks and was the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 500 yards twice in his career. The biggest factor for Roethlisberger achieving this goal will be the offensive line. If last year proved anything, if you give Roethlisberger time he will pick apart any defense. If the line can keep him upright and clean, there is no doubt Roethlisberger could throw 40 touchdowns in 2015 with the offense he will be leading.
Why it won't happen: 40 touchdowns is a lot. Not only has Roethlisberger never thrown for more than 32 touchdowns in his career, but only one quarterback accomplished this feat in 2014, and that was Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck. Despite an improved offensive line, Roethlisberger's health will constantly be an issue as he has only been healthy for a full season a few times in his career.
On top of that improved line will be a schematic focus on the running game. With Le'Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams destined to anchor the backfield, the reliance on Roethlisberger and the passing game will be decreased next season. The better the team runs the ball, the better the team will be, but it will also cut into Roethlisberger's ability to achieve the goal of 40 touchdowns.
If the Steelers offense has an Achilles' heal, it most certainly is the red-zone offense. This will also hurt Roethlisberger's numbers, despite who is in the lineup. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady continually thrive in the red-zone, which helps their overall statistics. Roethlisberger struggles where he should be thriving, and could be the ultimate reason why this scenario will not come to fruition.
Keys: The keys for this scenario to come true would be two parts. The first is the offensive line protecting Roethlisberger as well as, if not better, than they did in 2014. The second part would be the team improving their red-zone offense. Martavis Bryant being in the lineup from Day 1 will certainly help the team's red-zone offense. If Roethlisberger can distribute passes to a number of weapons at his disposal, 40 touchdowns isn't out of the realm of possibility. If there was an offense for Roethlisberger to achieve this lofty goal, it would be this 2015 offense.