Who would you give your one good knee to so he could play quarterback, Bradford or Bridgewater? In case you do not want the Vikings to do so, let’s give the ball to our newest field general, Case Keenum.
There is a quarterback carousel that is steering our Viking longship, giving us the potential of conquering the Super Bowl in our homeland of Minnesota. Heading into the bye week, the Vikings stand 6-2 on top of the NFC North and second in the NFC, all accomplished by not a backup quarterback but our third-string quarterback. So, who is the Vikings quarterback right now?
Well, just in case if you were wondering, the Vikings picked him up through free agency this year and we didn’t even guarantee him a spot on the team. Yes, he had to make the team himself, beating out Taylor Heinicke for the last quarterback spot on the squad.
Now, standing at six foot nothing, two hundred nothing, Case Keenum is commanding both our aerial and ground attacks for our mighty Viking warriors as our field general, leading the Vikings to a victorious 6-2 start.
So who is Case Keenum and where did he come from?
With the hype of Teddy Bridgewater coming back and the inconceivable facts of Sam Bradford’s health, do we really need to put this guy on the bench to play someone already marked as “starting quarterback” for our team? That is the question that is pointing amongst the Viking nation right now, but what people fail to realize is who Case Keenum is and what kind of potential and prophecies that he has to offer and fulfill.
At the University of Houston, an NCAA DI school, he became college football’s all-time leader in touchdown passes, completions, and passing yards. Keenum still holds those records to this very day and yet he still went undrafted, signing a contract with the Texans to begin his NFL journey as a “career backup”.
People label him as such, but he isn’t playing like one of those “career backups”. At the halfway marker of the season, the mysterious Viking quarterback is up there with Matthew Stafford and Phillip Rivers, ranked 12th in the NFL in completion percentage. His passer rating ranks 20th in the league. Also, according to the Total QBR metric system provided by ESPN, he is the sixth-best passer in the league this year, making him a slight bit better than Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson, who are Super Bowl Champions and future Hall of Famers. Let’s not fail to mention that he has been better than Matt Ryan this year, who has an offense designed around him with big weapons of mass destruction like Julio Jones, and yet we still want to replace the most consistent quarterback that the Vikings franchise has had in the past eight years.
Keenum is in the company of Tom Brady and Deshaun Watson as the only quarterbacks in the NFL who are in the top six categories of QB rating, DYAR, and DVOA. That is some great company to be in.
The last time that a Viking quarterback was putting up and leading in this many statistical categories was Brett Favre in 2009.
Teddy Bridgewater hasn’t even had a season like this in his short career. Neither has Sam Bradford.
This just makes no sense that there is even a debate on who our quarterback should be.
The best possible thing to do is for Mike Zimmer to come out and tell the media that Case Keenum is the starting quarterback. This will take a lot of pressure off of him and will let the team know who their true leader is.
No classroom wants to have a substitute teacher all year long knowing that their actual teacher is very ill and could come back with questionable health. Neither do NFL football teams because of the hype that can happen, which can potentially lead to a downward spiral.
We do not know how good or bad Teddy Bridgewater will be if we give him the nod. Does any franchise want a one-legged quarterback playing? The Vikings seem to have two of them with Bradford’s knee injury as well. But, Case Keenum has both legs and the last time we checked, two legs are better than one.
He could be the reincarnation of Fran Tarkenton, an undrafted free agent who signed with the Vikings, becoming a future Hall of Famer. Case Keenum has the potential to also be another Tony Romo, unsigned, undrafted but yet unbroken.
Historically speaking, there have been plenty of backup quarterbacks to have won the Super Bowl. A few names to mention are Curt Warner, who was undrafted and cut by the Packers. He even played in the Arena Football league and the NFL’s European league. On top of that, he worked in a grocery store as a stock boy before leading “The Greatest Show on Turf” to a 13-3 season and a Super Bowl. Now, let’s touch on Roger “The Dodger” Staubach, a back up for five years before he finally got to start. He was named the starter for the 1971 season before Tom Landry decided to rotate him and Craig Morton, and then ultimately went with “The Dodger” to go undefeated for the rest of that season, and winning the Super Bowl that year.
Are these similarities starting to spook you a little bit?
This rundown of backup quarterbacks includes Jeff Hostetler, Jim Plunket, and Doug Williams. But, we can’t ever forget about the time when Tom Brady replaced Drew Bledsoe and never looked back after that.
Keenum has every similarity of that type of quarterbacking company. Case closed.
He has played every game as if he has something to prove with beaming pride knowing that he has more to offer than most think.
But, the horror.
Having two highly paid quarterbacks that are technically in front of him really puts this quarterback case in the hot seat. We know that when Keenum makes a big mistake this year, we will see Bridgewater play or maybe even Bradford. Despite Keenum going above and beyond our expectations, Teddy’s recovery has seemed to be that way as well. The flipside of this coin is that the NFL wants Teddy Bridgewater to comeback, Vikings fans want him back, and the Vikings organization want him to come back as well.
Teddy is a fan favorite because he has become one of the most beloved players in Viking history in part due to his story. Vikings fans really built him up after he almost lost his leg to a freak accident, speculating that he had major potential to be our answer to a championship. His story is now over-romanticized amongst Minnesotans, but the realistic point of view is that he hasn’t played a snap of NFL football for over 450 days.
All Keenum needs to do is to not throw interceptions, fumble and go three and out moving forward. It is simple, keep the other team’s offense off the field, manage the clock, don’t get penalized, and convert on third downs. If our defense is fresh in all our contests, we will consistently keep every team to under 20 points. All Keenum needs to do is put us in position to obtain 21 points a game. A win in the NFL is a win, it doesn’t matter how you do it because every “W” adds to the standings. Yet he has managed to continue to get points on the board and as he gets more comfortable he will be producing more touchdowns. The best part is that the Vikings have a good receiving core that have nice sticky hands that can catch passes. He does not need to throw the ball perfectly because he knows that the receivers can go up and get it.
Vikings fans fail to realize that.
Keenum can extend the play with both of his feet and throw the ball down the field, something that Bridgewater and Bradford are not really known for. You can argue for Teddy but he is more notorious for throwing the ball away and not being able to look further than ten to fifteen yards down the field because he panics.
Do the Vikings really want a one-legged quarterback named “Panic Teddy” to come back after a 450-day hiatus? If they do then they really are a cursed franchise.
Just because Keenum has been deemed as a “career backup” does not mean that is something that defines him. He has the potential of becoming a solid starter in the NFL like many “career backups” have.
William Shakespeare once wrote the words of Malvolio who spouted the line: “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon us.”
But, remember he is not our backup, Case Keenum is our third string field general. Could he be the first ever third-string quarterback to lead a team to the promise land? Optimistically speaking, he could be the Viking warrior to lead his nation to Valhalla for the first time in history.
The Vikings need to believe in his cause and case.
Keenum is not the quarterback that the Vikings need or want, but he is the one that they deserve. That is who Case Keenum is.
Remember, “The Zos Knows”.
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