Case Keenum is hardly a flash in the pan

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Many see parallels between the emergence of Case Keenum in 2017 and the rise of Kurt Warner in 1999. But there’s an important difference between the two players.

When Warner was meandering through football leagues other than the NFL, gaining experience and preparing for what was to come with the Rams, Keenum was playing in the NFL — and not playing nearly as poorly as some believe.

He had 24 NFL regular-season starts before replacing Sam Bradford in September. Keenum finished the 2015 season with the Rams by winning three of four games, and he started the 2016 season (after the move to L.A.) by winning three of four games, even though the Rams didn’t have much of an offensive line or much of a receiving corps.

Before this season, Keenum had five games with a passer rating in excess of 100. (He has added eight of them in 2017.)

Always an afterthought or second fiddle, Keenum never has gotten the keys to the car. Even in Minnesota, there’s a nagging sense that it’s all temporary, that an asterisk appears next to the name on the back of the jersey.

It likely won’t be that way next year. Wherever he ends up, he’ll likely end up the starter, having the chance to build on what he was doing with the Rams and Jeff Fisher, without a No. 1 overall draft pick who is destined to bounce him to the bench, and what Keenum has been doing in Minnesota with the Vikings and Mike Zimmer/Pat Shurmur.

Think about this for a second — Keenum had a 6-2 stretch with the Rams over eight games that spanned the end of the 2015 season, a move to L.A., and the start of the 2016 season. While the Rams were determined to make a move for a young franchise quarterback, maybe they’d be as good if not better right now if they’d shown faith in Keenum, and if they’d given him a chance to grow, develop, win.

A “short” quarterback at six-one (many of us would love to be that short), Keenum has, as one source put it, an innate sense at seeing the field no matter where he is. Keenum also has the mobility to buy time until a receiver pops wide open, and he has a knack for finding the wide-open receiver, wherever he is.

He has won showdowns this year — in consecutive weeks — against the likes of Kirk Cousins, Jared Goff, Matthew Stafford, and Matt Ryan. The next test comes against a Super Bowl winner in Drew Brees.

Maybe if Keenum beats sure-fire, first-ballot Hall of Famer Drew Brees, people will start to believe. Maybe not. Maybe people will believe only if he’s hoisting a silver trophy in three weeks and two days.

46 responses to “Case Keenum is hardly a flash in the pan

  1. Before this season, Keenum had five games with a passer rating in excess of 100.
    This season Brett Hundley had three games with a passer rating in excess of 100. So um …… yeah. Just saying……..

  2. I understand all the QB talk for Minnesota, it’s a position they’ve searched to fill for a while now… but they look like a very balanced team. That’s what should give their fans some real hope.

  3. No one knows until it happens, not even you Florio. It’s better to hold off judgement until he proves it, in which he hasn’t yet.

  4. Keenum beat teams with 6-10(Tampa), 7-9(Lions), and 10-6(Seahawks) records in 2015.
    He lost to the 5-11 SF 49ers.
    He beat the Lions 21-14 because the Rams scored on D and they ran for 203 yards to his 124 yards passing. Keenum did run for 2 of those yards though.
    The one win against a playoff team was 23-17 vs Seattle because the Rams scored on Defense. He had 103 yards passing that day.

    Keenum lost to the 2-14 SF 49ers to start the 2016 season. (a shutout!)
    (Gabbert had 4 wins as a 49er. Half were vs Keenum)
    He beat the 10-5-1 Seahawks the next week 9-3.
    He was good vs the Bucs in a 37-32 win but had a pick 6 and the Rams scored on D to help.
    He then beat the 7-8-1 Cardinals 17-13 (he did play well)

    His only other win as a Ram in the next 5 games was 9-6 against the 5 win Jets.
    He lost games 17-10 (with a Keenum pick 6) and 13-10 with a missed FG and a Panther FG aided by an interception at the Carolina 45.

    Sorry, your picking out a small selection of his earlier career does not hold up to any scrutiny at all.

  5. Keenum has had a great 2017, there’s no denying that. But umm…he wasn’t very good in the 4 years prior. Yes, he’s had good games, he’s even had streaks of decent play, but his body of work was quite poor in totality. The only season he was even close to AVERAGE was in 2015, in which he was slightly below average and only threw 125 pass attempts. In 2013 his passer rating was 11% below league average, in 2014 it was 22% below, in 2015 it was 3% below, and in 2016 it was 18% worse than average. So let’s not get carried away – Nick Foles has one of the greatest QB seasons on record so…yeah.

  6. He needs a Lombardi Trophy in his hand to prove that he is worth a long term contract from the Vikings. If he becomes a free agent, and wants to be a starter, then he will most likely end up on a team that missed the playoffs in 2017.

  7. Keenum is a starter but not one you want to pay a lot of money. The Vikings are stacked as a team and if you put Rodgers, Brady, Brees or even Ryan (also short) at QB there they might be 15-1 or better and be easy favorites to win it all. The guy threw 22 TDs with two very good WRs and a top TE so lets not talk like he is setting the league on fire. This wasn’t the greatest who on turf. It was a great defense and a talented team who had a QB that did enough.

  8. Unfortunately even then there will be those that say he was only hoisting a silver trophy purely because of the players around him and the system he plays within.

    Although I will be among those same people, why should it matter? The guy has simply played exceedingly good football this year and deserves the chance of being a well paid starter in the NFL.

    I personally want the Vikings to bring Bridgewater back as I feel his ceiling is higher and that he will become a true franchise QB. That however, won’t stop me from supporting Keenum wherever he ends up playing next year and beyond.

  9. Case Keenum is a talented player and a good guy. He may not have the natural ability of Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers, but neither does Drew Brees. We’ll see Sunday if he has what it takes to lead this team for the long term. If he wins the Super Bowl, he’ll be the most popular athlete in Minnesota history.

  10. Yup. Last season, with Fisher still coaching them, I happened to watch the Rams lose to the Lions. They had a chance to win, he couldn’t lead a drive at the end, it wasn’t a masterpiece. But he threw 20 straight completions in that game, threw for over 300 yards, and he looked pretty frigging good. I’ve been thinking about that game all this year when everyone keeps saying that it’s some sort of miracle that he’s playing well. He’s got some skills.

  11. I’m a Vikings fan, so I’m pretty negative. Keenum has made a believer out of me. I’ve watched every snap this year. He’s somehow gotten better and better, not just week to week, but quarter to quarter and drive to drive. It seems as though, somehow, his arm has even become stronger. Does that happen like in baseball? The answer is yes, apparently.

  12. Vikings didn’t look that great when they lost to Pittsburgh, Lions and Panthers. The Saints didn’t play Pittsburgh (yet) but they beat Lions and Panthers. It’s going to be entertaining to watch how the Saints attack at full intensity and Brees going at elite high caliber level against a defense that couldn’t handle the Lions and Panthers. Saints win this one.

  13. In My opinion, the Vikes are nuts if they let him get away. He has performed well enough to show he should be a starter and is every bit the equal or better than other quarterbacks on the roster.

  14. He’s played well, he makes plays but he’s not as good as Warner. Warner stayed in the pocket, had a much better arm and was a physically bigger man. Keenum is average in every sense of the word but he’s tough and not afraid to use his legs. Somewhere along the way he’s going to get creamed a few times and revert back to who he is, a very good backup.

  15. Probably the 2017-18 NFL MVP!!! He Will be Hoisting the Trophy in the Super Bowl in Minnesota this year!!! He has really Proved Himself!

  16. He was a lot like Colt Brennan coming out of college. Big stats from a pass friendly odfence, but successful as hell in it. Unlike Brennan, Keenum disn’t have injury or off field issues during his “growing” years in the NFL. I remember him starting a game for the Texans his rookie year. He said (paraphrasing) ” If I’m gonna go down, I’m gonna go down slinging. I’m super happy for him showing what he’s capable of, and as a Seattle and prodigal Lions fan, I am rooting for Minneaota to win the Superbowl. It would be a great story.

  17. For those who think that Case feels under appreciated in MN and is going to follow Pat Shurmur out the door, you need to read the article that Case wrote for The Players’ Tribune titled ‘Right Team, Right Time’ to see how he feels about the team and the fans. Then try to say again that he won’t be working with the team to stay around for a long time.

  18. silentcount says:
    January 13, 2018 at 4:39 am
    Vikings didn’t look that great when they lost to Pittsburgh, Lions and Panthers. The Saints didn’t play Pittsburgh (yet) but they beat Lions and Panthers. It’s going to be entertaining to watch how the Saints attack at full intensity and Brees going at elite high caliber level against a defense that couldn’t handle the Lions and Panthers. Saints win this one.
    Let’s flip this around. Saints didn’t look that good when they lost to Minnesota, New England, LA Rams, Atlanta and Tampa Bay. The Vikings didn’t play New England (yet) but they beat the Rams, Falcons and Bucs. It’s going to be entertaining to watch how the Vikings defense attacks at full intensity against Brees and an offense that couldn’t do much against against the Vikings, Pats, Rams, Falcons and Bucs. Vikings win this one. (Gosh, that was an easy rebuke).

  19. Keenum and the Vikings are both lucky to find each other. Although Slick Rick Spielman deserves the credit. Keenum has the talent and coaching around him to maximize the talent that he has. I feel Bridgewater and Bradford would both have us in this same position just in a different style in the process. Keenums quickness getting out of the pocket to extend plays and 3rd down and red zone efficiency are his best attributes. That being said if he wins the Super Bowl he’ll never have to pay for a meal in this state for the rest of his life.

  20. People dissing on Case because he played on a team with a good defense have not watched many games this year . The Vikings scored as many points as they did in large part to CK ability to dodge the rush and throw completes for third downs and TD’s . The reason the Vikings seemed to fade a little on offense down the home stretch was more a result of conservative play calling than a knock on Case . Zimmer instructed Shurmer to try to be a power running team in the last month and that didn’t seem to work too well for scoring points . I hope they go back to the offense they used from week four until week twelve because the Saints have firepower on offense and we will need 24 too win I feel .

  21. Even if he wins the super bowl this year, Keenum is likely relegated to to the status of Trent Dilfer and Jeff Hostetler as mediocre QBs who won super bowls.

  22. Hard not to pull for Keenum, solid QB. If they let him go and go with Teddy, I will laugh my butt of. Teddy is/was mediocre at best.

  23. I don’t get or agree with this fascination with gaudy passing numbers. There’s no rule in the book stating a QB must put up 350 yards, score 3 TDs, and have a passer rating over 100 every game to be considered ‘good’.

    A QB’s job is to run the offense and score literally one more point than his opponent before time runs out. Nothing about ‘style points’, stats, or technique. A win is a win is a win. Period.

  24. I think there’s more pressure on Keenum than any one player remaining. If he leads the Vikings to a SuperBowl win, he’ll earn stupid Flacco money. If he fails, the Vikings and their fans will say; “See, we told you. Bridgewater is better.”

    After failing to receive the endorsement of his head coach, after getting dragged behind the boat all season long, Keenum has been put in a lose-lose position, along with the Vikings. Keenum should’ve been under contract six weeks ago. Win-win.

  25. I’m getting pretty tired of how quick some Viking fans want to just throw Bridgewater overboard because Keenum is on a good run. In 2014 he was thrown to the wolves after Cassell got hurt and played pretty well for a rookie learning on the fly. 2015 he managed the offense built around Peterson and was asked not to take many chances and play field position. 11-5 behind half the line and half the receivers they have now and a spastic kicker away from winning a playoff game in his 2nd year. 2016 was going to be Teddy’s offense and everyone saw it in the 3rd preseason game when he made the Chargers defense look like a high school team. Then he got hurt and here we are. If you Keenumaniacs think they will just throw Teddy overboard after all the blood sweat and tears invested in him think again.

  26. Saints beat ATL once, and was completely robbed by the refs in the other game. Talk about losing to Tampa, yet Saints put up 52 points on the Lions, who beat the Vikings. Why do you leave that out? Convenience.

  27. Saints beat ATL once, and was completely robbed by the refs in the other game. Talk about losing to Tampa, yet Saints put up 52 points on the Lions, who beat the Vikings. Why do you leave that out? Convenience

    Didn’t the aints lose to the falcons on the road? Yes. The Vikings beat Atlanta on the road. Didn’t the aints lose o Minnesota on the road? Yes

    Haven’t the Saints given up over 400 yards in 4 Of the last 8 games?
    Haven’t the aints gone 4-4 on the road this year?

    The aints are good. They aren’t as good as you think they are

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