Case Keenum is in the Twilight Zone of quarterback competitions.
Week after week, the former Wyle High School Texas football standout must outdo himself to keep his starting job and Teddy Bridgewater on the bench. It cannot be easy for him considering that Keenum has been playing lights-out for Minnesota. The Vikings have won eight-straight with Case under center.
A Winning Pedigree
Keenum led the Bulldogs to a Texas state title with a win over perennial Texas high school powerhouse: The Cuero Gobblers. Case ended his pre-collegiate career with over 6,500 yards passing and 48 touchdowns. He was also an adept rusher making him a legitimate dual-threat player. Still, Keenum was not a highly recruited commodity. He committed to the University of Houston in 2006.
As a Cougar from 2007-2011, Keenum lit it up. He scored 155 touchdowns and passed for 19,217 yards. He threw 46 interceptions during that same stretch for an overall quarterback rating of 160.6. Case was also accurate as his 69.4 college career completion rate indicates. Yet, despite being the all-time NCAA’s leader in passing yards, touchdowns and completions, the former Bulldog went undrafted in 2012. He was signed by the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent.
Tough Start to Pro Career
In his first year with the Texans, Keenum did not win a game in eight starts. He threw for 1,760 yards, nine touchdowns and six interceptions. He had an overall completion percentage of 54.2. The former Cougar spent the next three years bouncing between the Rams and Texans with little notoriety. Going into the 2017 season, Keenum’s bags were packed for Minnesota.
An Unexpected Resurgence
Keenum entered this season — the fifth of his professional career — already looking like a journeyman after five years and three NFL team. Case signed a one-year deal with the Vikings that had “Break glass only in case of emergency” written all over it. After starting shot caller Sam Bradford went down because of injury in the second week of the season, Keenum got his shot. The Vikings are now 10-2 and the former Texas high school star is getting better every outing.
Since the aforementioned Bridgewater was declared healthy enough to play – Teddy blew out his knee in August of 2016 – Case responded going 4-0 and passing for 1,093 yards. Keenum tossed nine scores and only two interceptions during this run for a quarterback rating of 115. Overall, Case has passed for 2,703, 16 touchdowns and 5 interceptions this season.
With all things clicking for the Viking under Keenum’s guidance, many were baffled to learn his coach made it clear recently that he’s being evaluated on a week-by-week basis to keeps his starting job.
Can’t the Guy Get A Little R. E. S. P. E. C. T.
No one can predict what will happen tomorrow. It is possible that Keenum’s season can come apart. Still, considering how well he’s led the Vikings for the past 10 weeks, one would think Case has earned to be named the starter, outright. He may not have the strongest arm or the prototypical size, Keenum does have a ton of experience and has shown he can run the offense efficiently and effectively.
Keenum’s next audition for the starting job is this Sunday against the Panthers in Carolina.
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