Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer announced on Wednesday that the quarterback would be making the start for the team’s Week 11 game at home on Sunday.
Before the Minnesota Vikings took the field in Week 10 to face the Washington Redskins, some wondered if this matchup could be the last for Case Keenum as the Vikings’ starter before the team would make a switch to Teddy Bridgewater.
However, Keenum had other ideas. Minnesota’s quarterback had himself a day against the Redskins, throwing for 304 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions.
For Keenum, it was his third game with at least 285 passing yards and two touchdowns this season. The quarterback accomplished this feat back in Week 8 against the Cleveland Browns and in Week 3 during a matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
His performance last Sunday apparently left the Vikings no choice but to keep the quarterback as their starter for their Week 11 showdown with the Los Angeles Rams as Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer announced on Wednesday. The Vikings’ opponent for this week will easily be the toughest team Keenum has faced all year.
So far this season, Los Angeles’ defense ranks fourth in points allowed per game, first in turnovers generated, ninth in passing yards allowed per game, and fifth in sacks. Their defense is very comparable to the same unit of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Keenum’s performance against the Steelers in Week 2 is arguably his worst of the year.
If not for Keenum’s play versus Washington, Bridgewater would have likely been the guy starting under center for Minnesota this week (this thought has even been confirmed by Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer). But the Vikings have won in Keenum’s last four starts and likely did not want to create a self-induced speed-bump during a season that has seen them get off to a great start.
If starting Keenum this week seems like a safe decision by Minnesota, it’s because it is. Bridgewater’s current abilities are unknown but Keenum’s are certainly not. He’s a career backup who plays his best against bad defenses and has cost his teams wins on multiple occasions in the past.
Minnesota is winning with him in there now, but their upcoming stretch of games has them facing a number of defenses (Los Angeles, Atlanta, Carolina) that could bring out the old mistake-prone Keenum that everyone is used to.
However, maybe the quarterback has turned a corner and he can continue to help the Vikings win this season?
That would be great for Minnesota and more will be known after these next few games. But until he proves he can play well against a decent opposing defense, it is still fair to be skeptical about Keenum being able to lead this team to a Super Bowl.