With Matt Schaub and T.J. Yates throwing pick-sixes all over the place, and Schaub being injured, former Houston Cougars quarterback and college legend Case Keenum will get a shot to start for the Houston Texans this Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
It’s not an ideal situation, starting your first NFL game against the league’s top defense, but Keenum will take it.
Undrafted in 2012, Keenum spent last year on the Texans’ practice squad. You might be wondering how the NCAA’s all-time leader in passing yardage (19,217) and touchdowns (155) went undrafted, no team even taking a flier on him in the later portion of the draft.
Well, as Dane Brugler at CBS Sports points out, Keenum has less than ideal physical tools. He didn’t come into the league with great arm strength or mobility, and measured out at 6’1″ 210 pounds (rougly). At Houston, Keenum was able to get out a lot of quick passes and his statistics were pretty inflated, as is often the case with some college quarterbacks.
Still, Keenum didn’t become the NCAA leader all-time in those two major categories by accident, and he brings a different sort of element to the Texans’ offense. Fans of teams with QB issues often prefer the unknown to the known even if that unknown is actually much worse than what they already have. What Keenum offers is a fresh start at the QB position, a guy with a big time college resume’ who has stuck it out in the NFL at least to this point after going undrafted last year.
Keenum is a very smart player with a lot of toughness, so really the Texans might be in good shape against Kansas City if they can turn this game into a slugfest. The second-year QB might not be asked to sling the ball around all game long like he used to do in college, but he could be asked to step up and make some plays. Not unlike Alex Smith, his opponent this weekend, Keenum’s main job is going to be this–don’t make mistakes.
If Keenum can come in and give the Texans efficient, mistake-free football, they have a shot to take down one of the last remaining undefeated teams this weekend.