Top 8 seasons by a Minnesota Vikings backup quarterback

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 14: Quarterback Case Keenum - MInnesota Vikings
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 14: Quarterback Case Keenum - MInnesota Vikings /
6 of 7
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Case Keenum
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Case Keenum /

2. Case Keenum (2017)

  • Record: 11-3
  • Stats: 3,547 yards, 22 touchdowns, 7 interceptions

When the Vikings signed Case Keenum to back up Sam Bradford, he came with the tag of a journeyman. An undrafted free agent from the University of Houston, Keenum signed with the Houston Texans in 2012. Over the five seasons before joining Minnesota, Keenum started 24 games going 9-15. His best season came in 2015 when he started five games for the Saints, winning three of them.  From his professional career, there was little sign that he was going to have a breakout season for the Vikings in 2017.

Bradford opened the season as the starter in Week 1, outplaying Drew Brees, passing for 346 yards and three touchdowns in a 29-19 Minnesota Vikings win. A mysterious injury, at least one that was not apparent from the game, kept Bradford out of the lineup the next three weeks.

Keenum lost two of the next three games before Bradford attempted a comeback in Week 5 against Chicago. An offensive struggle through two quarters, Keenum started the second half with the Vikings leading 3-2. He completed 17 of 21 passes for 140 yards and touchdown as the Vikings won the game 20-17.  That started the Vikings on an eight-game winning streak and winners in 11 of their last 12 games. One of his best games came in Week 10, when he threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns, outdueling Kirk Cousins in a 38-30 win at Washington.

Over the final 12 games of the season, Keenum completed 69 percent of his passes averaging 232 yards per game with 19 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. His passer rating of 98.3 for the season was the best in his career.

The Vikings finished 13-3, the second-most wins in franchise history, earning the second seed in the NFC playoffs. In the Divisional round, Keenum pulled off an incredible comeback against the Saints. The play known as the Minneapolis Miracle came with 10 seconds remaining in the game and the Saints leading 24-23 with the Vikings facing a 3rd-and-10 from their own 39-yard line. Keenum completed a pass to Stefon Diggs between two defenders that Diggs turned into the winning score as time expired. The play won an ESPY for a Best Moment in Sports.

Despite having by far the best season in his career, head coach Mike Zimmer and the Vikings did not re-sign Keenum in the offseason. Keenum signed with the Broncos and fell back with a 6-10 record in his first season to start all 16 games. Like in Minnesota, Keenum’s time was limited to one season as he is set to play for the Redskins in 2019.