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: The Pittsburgh Steelers represent the AFC in Super Bowl 50.
Why it will happen: The Pittsburgh Steelers have as good an offense as anyone, on paper, and that offense could certainly lead the team through the difficult schedule they have in front of them entering the 2015 season. However, everyone knows about the offense, but it is the defense which certainly could be the difference maker with this upcoming team.
The defense was much maligned in 2014 after a sub-par season, but under Keith Butler with some new additions, the unit is looking to be much more athletic and versatile than in year's past. Gone are big name players like Brett Keisel and Troy Polamalu, but in are Stephon Tuitt and Shamarko Thomas. This defense might be raw, but they will be fun to watch.
32 scenarios in 32 days: Big Ben wins OPOY award
The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the best offense in franchise history. Could QB Ben Roethlisberger have a career year which has him winning the NFL Offensive Player of the Year award?
Combine the offensive prowess of the team with the youth and athleticism on defense and you have yourself the making of a winner. The Steelers have postseason experience from 2014, and could very well make the next step in not only winning a postseason game in 2015, but winning several en route to a Super Bowl berth in Super Bowl 50.
Why it won't happen: The Steelers schedule is difficult. Actually it is downright disastrous. They play the Patriots, Chiefs, Chargers and Seahawks all on the road, and on yeah, they have to play the Ravens and Bengals twice each. The schedule doesn't get much easier at home with them hosting the Broncos, the Raiders (who always seem to have the team's number) and the Colts.
If the schedule wasn't difficult enough, the team will be without possibly its best offensive weapon in Le'Veon Bell for the first three games of the 2015 season. Don't think that will be a big deal? Think back to the 2014 playoff loss to the Ravens. Yeah, it is a big deal.
Lastly, there is that defense. Coming off a bad 2014 season, do fans have the right to be optimistic about this unit? Do they really think they will be better than last year? Some say yes, but there are plenty of reasons to think it will be more of the same. A legendary offense could certainly be hindered by a lackluster defense, and ultimately ruin this scenario.
Keys: The key to the Steelers not only making the postseason, but advancing to the Super Bowl will come down to a few things. Win early, as the early portion of the schedule is much more favorable on paper, even if doing so without Le'Veon Bell. Win the games you should. Super Bowl teams don't lose to the Browns and the Raiders, and lastly, handle your business at home. I've always said if you can win every game at home, and split on the road you have yourself a 12-4 season. That is difficult, but if the Steelers can claim a unique home field advantage, it will go a long way to the team making this incredible scenario come to fruition.