Case Keenum Makes Me Nervous Especially if Sam Bradford is Ready
Wow, be careful what you say on Twitter. That’s what some Vikings’ fans, like myself, are finding out on this wonderful Christmas afternoon.
Where do I begin? Well, I was at Lambeau Field for the first time on Saturday night, for the Vikings – Packers game. It may have been the best one to go to… ever. Think about it.. This might be the most superior the Vikings have been over the Packers in decades. Walking through the confines of Lambeau Field, and all the glory that surrounds it, was easy. I got more high-fives than I got questions about Super Bowl rings.
It’s an odd reality for a Vikings fan. I even had a couple handfuls of Packer Fans who told me they were rooting for us to win it all… stop. I only rooted for you in 2012 because my greenbacks were riding on your ugly green jerseys…
Anyway… that article will come with the video of our day at Lambeau. This piece is for a much more pressing issue.
I am afraid of Case Keenum.
I know, I know, everyone already knows how much I hate Case Keenum, right? Or at least, everyone thinks they do. I rode the Teddy Bridgewater train earlier this season when he became available off of the IR. Honestly, I was on the Teddy train for the same reason I’m writing this article. I don’t trust Case Keenum. But why?
You aren’t going to find my reasoning in overall numbers. Case Keenum is having a career high in every stat category. And that’s why I get yelled at on social media whenever I write/tweet/talk about our QB situation (Which admittedly, I’ve written/tweeted/talked a lot about). So, how did I get started on this again, most recently? Well, here are Keenum’s stats this season compared to his others. Below that, you will see it was the most recent news about Sam Bradford + Keenum’s worst game of the year in week 16 at Lambeau that got me going… and got others firing back.
Here are Case’s numbers at Lambeau on Saturday.
— Pioneer Press (@PioneerPress) December 25, 2017
I know #SKOL fans are worried about screwing up a good thing but Case Keenum was bad against the Packers outside of his dime to Diggs.
Save the “it was cold”. I know. I was there.
The coaching staff needs to SERIOUSLY consider Sammy if he looks good and is healthy.
— Minnesota Sports Fan (@realmnsportsfan) December 25, 2017
— SkolTeacher (@danahm03) December 25, 2017
Whatever you are smoking , you need to stop. Case is there QB on the field and in the locker room. Enjoy the ride!
— Roland (@5rolley7) December 25, 2017
Play the one that got us there! Impossible to find a QB that didn’t have a few subpar games over the course of a season.
— Hagar the Deplorable (@Csjohn1C) December 25, 2017
Fortunately……. or unfortunately I suppose, I’m not the only one. Arif Hassan of Zone Coverage and The Daily Norseman has some of the same thoughts as me and he had his shield up today too, after stating questions about Keenum. You can click into this tweet and see all of the back-and-forth. It’s entertaining but a bit exhausting, as well.
lmao keenum won’t stop throwing this INT-in-waiting. he’s done it to begin games for like four straight weeks pic.twitter.com/aH1PZpIKVg
— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) December 25, 2017
Ok Eric, we get it, you aren’t a big Case Keenum fan and you are judged a lot for it, admittedly for good reason. So why? You still haven’t told us that part.
Case Keenum is INNACURATE downfield and I am VERY worried it will come back to bite us in the playoffs. That’s what it boils down to. And, in the NFL, especially in the playoffs, we need him to hit those guys downfield. Keenum showed again on Saturday that he can’t be trusted to hit open receivers deep, missing multiple open guys throughout the game. Here are some cool inside stats from playerprofiler.com where Keenum’s deep ball inefficiencies stick out:
This under-throw to Diggs was an EASY TD if the pass is decent:
Keenum had a rough game throwing the ball. Missed a lot of deep balls. If he hits Diggs in stride this is a TD. Under-throwing him here helped draw the PI though pic.twitter.com/RyvOkglzqK
— Tristen Eicher (@Tjse17) December 24, 2017
Everyone wants to point to the numbers Keenum has. I can’t argue them. 24 TD’s and just 7 INT’s while completing over 67% of his passes. That’s why everyone drinking Keenum’s Kool-aid goes back to the numbers. Also, Minnesotans are scared. ‘This is working.’ Case is the comfortable option at this point. But, could it be better. How many times have we seen this, this year? It’s every QB in this offense.
Diggs had a game last night and this spin move was ?? pic.twitter.com/SnuRVce1ZL
— Tristen Eicher (@Tjse17) December 24, 2017
There is a guy calling the plays named Pat Shurmur. He’s pretty good at his job and someone else had a career bes—- wait, NFL All-time best completion percentage last year, under him too. Hmmm…. Oh that’s right… he is still on this team. And, as mentioned above, he may be available to play in the first playoff game. His name is Sam Bradford. Here are last year’s accomplishments, in case you forgot. Do you notice any categories being bloated? Maybe the same bloated categories as their current QB (TD/INT Ratio, QB Rating, Completion %, 3rd down).
The top 4 QBs in the NFL in adjusted completion percentage on 3rd downs in 2016 pic.twitter.com/rWI987xIYW
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) August 4, 2017
Sam Bradford broke the @NFL single-season completion percentage record in 2016.
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) January 2, 2017
Oh, and who was also really good downfield last year when the shitty offensive line gave him enough time to throw that far? The best in the league.
— Jonathan Kinsley (@Brickwallblitz) March 26, 2017
People, I’m not even trying to say Bradford should be the starter right away. Although, I’m going to stop doing research or I might change my mind… Here is what I’m saying. Case Keenum doesn’t deserve a long-cemented, carry-your-team, franchise-QB-type leash in the playoffs. If he has a bad first half in a close playoff game, like the bad first half he had in Green Bay, the coaching staff shouldn’t be afraid to make the move to Bradford. This is only true if they trust what they have seen in him and believe he is 100% healthy, of course.
This isn’t the same situation as trading Case in for Teddy Bridgewater earlier this year, although my fears are the exact same. Bradford just played earlier this season, after record-setting completion stats last year, despite a bad offensive line/running game. Those are areas the Vikings excel in this season (like most other areas).
And, the best game played THIS season from a Vikings QB? Sam Bradford in week 1:
There are a couple of things I want to say as I close this out and wait for the hate mail to role in. I don’t hate Case Keenum. He seems like a great human and he is a better quarterback than I had ever thought he was, coming into the season. He is a good NFL QB, when playing for a good team. He may have earned himself a career NFL starting role with the season he’s had. If the situation were different, I’d love Case Keenum as my starter (though the same fears would exist).
But, this isn’t a normal year nor a normal situation. Case Keenum would have been declared the 3rd string QB in the Vikings’ lineup if everyone were healthy and Case hadn’t increased his stats from backup level to top-10 starter level this season. Again, that doesn’t mean he should be replaced right now. It simply means that we CANNOT treat this like a normal situation. The coaching staff needs to be ready to make the move they think is right for this particular moment. They see these quarterbacks everyday. If they believe Bradford is the best chance to win, then play him. If it’s Case, then great. I trust Zimmer and Shurmur. And whenever you ask Zimmer about his starting QB, well… let’s just say he isn’t ready to declare Case his guy either.
Mike Zimmer: Keenum will start vs. the #Bengals, and Reiff’s ankle injury isn’t as bad as first feared. Zimmer mentioned both of those notes in a much more entertaining way than just reading that info. #Vikings #skol pic.twitter.com/zVPlsnFKm8
— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) December 11, 2017
— Mark Vancleave ?+? (@mvnclv) November 20, 2017
He does like one thing about Case though:
Seems like Mike Zimmer is a fan of Case Keenum pic.twitter.com/A9wtVZdePB
— Laces Out (@LacesOutShow) November 21, 2017