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Why Ben Roethlisberger will throw single-digit interceptions in a full 17-game season

In the new “30 Scenarios in 30 Days” series, we break down situations which could take place for the Steelers in 2021.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the 2021 regular season, but before the real games begin, the team has to head to training camp to fine tune their skills. As we here at BTSC prepare you for the start of camp, we give you a series called “30 Scenarios in 30 Days” which gives you a Steelers scenario every day leading up to the start of camp.

It is simple how it works. We provide you the scenario, reasons why it will or won’t happen, and then our prediction for what we think will take place.

Let’s get to the scenario...

Scenario: Ben Roethlisberger will throw single-digit interceptions in a full 17-game season.

Seasons Roethlisberger has thrown single-digit INTs:
2005: 9 (12 Games)
2010: 5 (12 Games)
2012: 8 (13 Games)
2014: 9 (16 Games)

Why it will happen: In my opinion, the key to this prediction is whether the Steelers are successful in their attempt at running the football. If they can generate a running game, and when I say that I am talking about a running attack which is ranked near middle of the league or above, it takes a tremendous amount of pressure off Roethlisberger to have to always make the difficult throw. Roethlisberger has shown, as recently as 2020, he is more than capable of protecting the football, and if the Steelers can run the ball it should only assist him with making proper reads and delivering passes to a stacked wide receiver corps.

Why it won’t happen: When you look at the statistics above, Roethlisberger has only had one season in his career where he played in a full length regular season and had single-digit interceptions. There is a reason for that statistic, and it is how Roethlisberger can be careless with the football. In seasons where Roethlisberger played in every game, only happened four times, he averaged 14 interceptions a season. I excluded the 2020 season where he threw 10 interceptions because he was rested in Week 17. The thought of Roethlisberger playing in all 17 games, something Dave Schofield predicted wouldn’t happen in 2021, and throwing less than 10 interceptions seems far fetched.

Prediction: As much as I would love to suggest Roethlisberger will play a very clean brand of football in Year 18, I know better. Even with a running game, Roethlisberger always has, and will, gamble with down the field throws. He trusts his receivers to make plays, even when the coverage is solid, and sometimes those end up in the defender’s hands. The receiver used to be Antonio Brown, and now it might be Chase Claypool. Either way, if Roethlisberger plays in all 17 games, which is a huge if, I see him being around the 10-12 interception range in 2021.


Check out yesterday’s ‘30 Scenarios in 30 Days’ prediction:

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the 2021 regular season.