Sometimes stats can be misleading, projections can be proven wrong and career backups can become starters? This week we throw around some projections and comparisons.
There are certain names that come to mind when discussing the best season a Vikings quarterback has ever played: Tarkenton, Kramer, Culpepper, Moon, Favre. Unquestioned starters from day one, those Quarterbacks were never worried about losing their starting jobs, given their positions on the team. This season, Case Keenum was thrust into the starting job after Sam Bradford’s knees relegated him to a bench position and because of the weekly ambiguity shown by Mike Zimmer on his starting signal caller, its easy to forget that Keenum has played in ten (and started nine) of the Vikings twelve regular season games this year. Keenum, as you may have heard, has been playing very well but it is hard to believe that he is having an all time great Vikings quarterback season. Because math, averages and projections are easier when divided by ten, let’s take Case Keenum’s 2017 stats so far, boil them down to their game averages and then stretch those averages out over a full 16 game season and see how they compare historically with the great seasons of Viking’s Quarterbacks.
According to Pro-football-reference.com and my caveman calculations, Keenum would throw for 3961 yards, which would put him at #5 on the Viking’s single season list behind Dante Culpepper in 2004, Warren Moon in ’94 and ’95, and Brett Favre’s magical 2009 season.Case has averaged nearly 22 completions per game, which would bring his projected season total to 348. Only five other Vikings have ever exceeded that completion total in a single season.
Yes, Keenum has been playing well, but this is no ’98 offense and the touchdown projections show as much. With a projected number of 22 touchdowns, Keenum would land at 13th on the list. However, these are the names above him: Culpepper, Cunningham, Moon, Favre, Kramer, Tarkenton and Jeff George. Not bad company to keep. Taking care of the ball is paramount in the NFL, and Case has done that this season, projecting to only 8 picks. For some context, Brett Favre threw 7 interceptions in 2009.
Now, this obviously is not a fool proof formula and I’m only being half serious in comparing Keenum to these Vikings greats, but it does give some perspective on the incredible season we are witnessing from a “career back-up”. Perhaps it’s time we just sit back and enjoy it.