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Thread: Case Keenum: A Case Study

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    Adopted Bronco:
    Josey Jewell

    Default Case Keenum: A Case Study

    What will our new quarterback do for an erstwhile anemic offense? Most opinions for the many
    repeated offensive failures the Broncos and their fans have endured the last couple years have
    centered on the offensive line and the quarterback.

    The line seems to have been shored up somewhat with the addition of Jared Veldheer, who is
    projected to start at right tackle. Ron Leary is expected to move back to left guard, where he has
    been considered more effective, and Connor McGovern reportedly will assume duties at right guard.
    All in all, most agree that it looks like an improved line.

    Quarterback is a different story. After a largely successful year with the Minnesota Vikings, Case
    Keenum has been brought in to solidify the position. Whether the Broncos accomplished that with him
    has been a topic of debate among fans and pundits alike. Opinions vary from stardom to scrub.

    So what can be the expectations with Keenum at quarterback? That is something that will be
    determined only by the results of his performance in 2018. Meanwhile, Keenum's track record is the
    only set of measurables we have to form our hopes. So I've attempted to provide a brief account of
    his experiences so far in the league.


    First, let's address the notion that Keenum disappeared in the playoffs last year. In the game
    against New Orleans, he passed for 318 yards, completing 62.5%. Opposing quarterback Drew Brees
    provides somewhat of a yardstick, passing for 294 yards at 62.5%. Each quarterback had 2 INTs. Now,
    it's true Brees passed for 3 TDs, as opposed to Keenum's 1, but that's because Minnesota opted to
    run for TDs. But Keenum did quite well in that game.

    Nor did Keenum really disappear in the NFC championship game. He did pass for 271 yards. More
    factors entered into it than just Keenum. I'm not trying to excuse him; he didn't play an especially
    good game. Philly's defense, of course, had something to say about that.

    Minnesota had talent, no doubt. But do the claims it is "stacked" mean the skill positions? The Vikings
    had a couple good receivers in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Yet most other teams also have two
    good receivers. Admittedly, Keenum also had a good tight end.

    Minnesota had a relatively mediocre running game last year. Starting running back Dalvin Cook's 4.8
    yards per attempt (Y/A) fell to an average of 3.9 for the season after Cook's injury in the fourth game,
    which included Cook's production. The Vikings finished the season ranked 23rd in Y/A. So Keenum
    didn't have quite the offensive supporting cast some may think he did. It was good, but it wasn't elite.


    The common perception of "one good year" attributed to Keenum is not entirely accurate, either. In
    Keenum's first year actually on the field (2nd year in the league) he acquitted himself pretty well in the
    eight games he started. He didn't set the world on fire, but first year (on the field) quarterbacks seldom
    do. Playing on a pitiful Houston team, however, he did manage 1,760 yards in those eight games and
    passed for more touchdowns (9) than he did Interceptions (6).

    2014 was a train wreck for Keenum, but not entirely of his doing. After two games with Houston, he
    went to the Rams where he sat for the rest of the year. The next year, 2015, he was put onto the field for
    six games. Starting with all of 12 games under his belt, he completed 60.8 percent and passed for 828
    yards and four touchdowns and one interception. That's not many touchdowns, of course, but it does
    represent a 4:1 TD/INT ratio. And his 87.7 passer rating wasn't bad for no more experience than he had.

    2016 was Keenum's first meaningful season with 10 games, and he once again found himself playing for
    a really bad Los Angeles Rams (4-12) team. He had no help from a running game that ranked 31st in the
    league in Y/A. Keenum wasn't great, but he wasn't terrible with receivers whose names would make you
    ask, "Who?"

    So his past isn't as putrid as some who have not studied his history would make you think. As for 2017,
    Keenum had more than a good year. He ranked #1 in the league, according to DVOA,[1] and #2 in the
    league in quarterback rating (QBR).[2] He did that by completing 67.6% of his passes for 3,547 yards
    (in 14 games, which would average out to 4,054 yards over 16 games), 22 TDS and 7 INTs (3:1 ratio).
    And he quarterbacked the team to a 12-4 record (11-3 in the regular season) and played in the
    championship game. Oh yes, he was also best in the league under pressure.[3]

    I might mention, by the way, that Keenum broke all kinds of passing records and received all kinds of
    awards in college.[4]


    Keenum is popularly being compared to Kirk Cousins who is essentially the "heir apparent" to Keenum
    with the Vikings. While Cousins looked more consistent over three years, he did play for one team all that
    time. Cousins' team was mediocre, but the Rams team Keenum played for was horrendous. (And
    quarterback-killer Jeff Fisher was their Head Coach.)


    Feelings that Keenum will regress may or may not bear out, but it hasn't happened for him yet. He has
    improved every year. If his track record indicates anything, it would be further improvement. And Keenum
    is a working fool who studies the game like Peyton Manning did. (I'm not comparing him to Manning in
    any other way, so please nobody jump on that.)

    Obviously, I have studied Keenum's history. From what I see, I have the expectation that he will be even
    better this year than he was in 2017. Maybe I'm wrong. I could be. But I don't think so at this point.


    Last edited by topscribe; 05-22-2018 at 12:01 PM.
    Though He slay me, I will trust in Him . . . (Job 13:15)

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  3. #2


    I have hopes. I have worries...but I have hopes.

    If even all we get is an Alex Smith level of play, Alex Smith is good enough to take us deep in the playoffs with this team.

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  5. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Baltimore, MD
    Adopted Bronco:
    Emma Watson


    I have doubts, serious doubts but he has this year to prove he isnt a one year wonder as he now is a veteran with experience. Lets see if he is the guy some people make him out to be.

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  7. #4


    If he is better than average Ill be content for this year, and maybe next.

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  9. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Big Sky Country


    He's an much of one remains to be seen.
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  11. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Odessa, TX
    Adopted Bronco:
    Demaryius Thomas


    We'll see what he does. One of my concerns is that what happened Minnesota is Keenum hitting his peak. He had solid numbers but eye popping. He looks like a guy who takes very good care of the football and makes smart decisions. Is that enough to Denver to the playoffs with the caveat if the defense in the top 5 to 10. Assuming the defense is close to where is was in 2015 is Keenum enough to get Denver to the but also to the Super Bowl? Some analysts and talking heads seem to think so, but I'm in wait and see mode.

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