Case Keenum: Blue Collar Back-Up

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After basically ripping him apart every chance i got during the preseason, Case Keenum has made me a believer. His work ethic and bland question answering technique have really won me over. I'm only kind of joking.

Somewhere in Eden Prairie on Tuesday, Pro Bowl Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will be snuck into a back room to be fitted for his crown, cape and scepter, while a sore, ice-wrapped, Case Keenum puts whats left of his ham sandwich back in it's ziplock baggie, and tucks the baggie back in to his large, metal, lunchpail and grabs his clipboard and camouflage Vikings hat. This is his third team in six seasons, so Case knows what a demotion looks like, but this year was different. There weren't any lopsided losses or brutal key turnovers as there were before. This team is leading the division, the interceptions are down.  Keenum has done a very good job filling in as starter for this first place football team. Sure, he isnt going to set the world on fire, but these games have proven that if given a decent offensive line and a good to great defense, Keenum can game-manage his way to a number of W's. 
He was a dead man walking all season and never complained or made questionable what does he mean there? statements to the media, even though he probably would have been justified in doing so. He gave the same "take it one game, one week at a time" responses you hope your number two guy says while he is in there. Backup quarterbacks getting significant snaps as starters are basically auditioning for the rest of the league, and I think its safe to say that Keenum nailed the audition. He was never in Minnesota to be a starter, he was here to step in if an injury happened and avoid big mistakes. He has done that and much more this season and as a result, will hopefully get overpaid by a desperate team this offseason. 
The NFL is a Quarterback needy league and there are a number of teams that are looking for a competent, veteran, starter. At the very least, there are a number of teams who will draft a young QB in this year's draft and sign Keenum as the stop gap until their young player is ready to be fitted for his crown, cape and scepter. At which point Case Keenum will put the rest of his sandwich in his lunchpail and start looking towards Cleveland, because lord knows he will get some snaps if he is on the roster there. 

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appreciation via the bye

Hello there! Welcome to the first installment of my brand spanking new blog! Here, I will be posting all of my panicky, pessimistic, sky-is-falling Vikings takes. As well as some reaction pieces on certain important games, and whatever else I have on my mind. Some weeks it will be several short jottings, some weeks it will be (kinda) long winded. Hopefully it stays entertaining. No Promises. Skol!

 

As a Vikings fan, my brain is programmed to prepare for the inevitable crash and burn each and every season. Last year, the 5-0 start was fun, but we all knew deep down this happiness could not last. This said, every year I try and take some time to appreciate the good things about the season, rather than focusing on the eventual heart removal.  While the Vikings prepare to watch the week 9 NFL schedule from the comfort of their living rooms (they're just like us!), let's take a second or two to appreciate what we have seen so far this year from our purple posse.

A 6-2 record at this point is remarkable when you lay it all out there. Here are some facts about the Vikings 2017 season so far: The starting QB has played a total of six quarters, the starting RB tore his ACL week 4, MIchael Floyd has three total catches, Treadwell is averaging a catch and a half a game, Diggs hasn't caught a TD since week 3 and Thielen caught his first TD of the year week 8.

Whew
6-2? I'll take it. 
I was taught pretty early on that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", yet here we are at 6-2, first place in the division, contemplating a QB change in weeks 10 or 11. Now, I understand why the conversations are happening (Teddy was drafted as the franchise QB, Keenum was signed to be a back up, etc.) but isnt there something to be said for the certainty (no matter how mediocre) in what you will get from Case Keenum in 2017? Doesn't anyone see the huge what if? in Teddy? I dont know, maybe I am giving this defense too much credit, but I feel like this team can make a deep playoff run with Keenum. He has been protecting the ball exceptionally well and the Vikings winning formula has been Defensive minded, low scoring games. But he is still Case Keenum. What if Teddy doesn't look good? What if he turns the ball over a bunch? What if they lose the next 4 games? What if Keenum starts to look like Keenum again? What if the defense runs out of gas? 
Oop, there goes that Vikings brain again. 

Tyler lives in Minneapolis and is one of the two hosts of BLEEDING PURPLE. Follow him on twitter @tylerhaag_