What to make of Case Keenum?
Broncos nation (or at least the part that is influenced by outlets like 104.3 The Fan) is already freaking out over Keenum.
The Broncos QB had seven interceptions all of last year, in two games with the Broncos he has 4. The pick on Sunday, in the red zone, was a bad throw into impossible coverage. It was also an attempt by Keenum to get a touchdown in a situation that needed a touchdown.
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There’s a difference between a timid, back foot interception and a trying too hard interception, in my opinion. Two of Keenum’s three interceptions in the Seahawks game were just that, timid, worried. That’s growth, in a new offense and a new city with a big contract, there’s bound to be some adjustment. Keenum improved from Seattle to Oakland. He also won both games with Denver trailing in the fourth quarter, a much better indicator of his value than the four picks.
Broncos faithful have a blind spot for quarterbacks. They believe things like Chad Kelly is a 15-year franchise QB and that drives somewhat unreasonable criticism of Keenum.
Let’s be honest, there’s a reason Kelly was passed on 223 times before the Broncos selected him with the final pick in the 2017 NFL draft. There’s a reason Kelly wasn’t mentioned as a challenger for the QB1 spot.
For better or worse, Case Keenum is the quarterback, there’s not a Baker Mayfield, waiting-in-the-wings to electrify Denver fans and that’s just fine. Keenum has 551 yards and 3TD through 2 games, he’s looked mostly sharp though he tends to hold the ball too long.
Most importantly, he gutted out a win in a game that Denver has classicly lost. Underappreciated were his two scrambles, one for a first down, one for a touchdown, where Keenum did not slide or run out-of-bounds. He lowered his shoulder and got it done for his team. Something we still love John Elway for, his “helicopter” run against the Packers is part of Case Keenum’s character as well.
With Jimmy Smith suspended for the first four games of the season, Sunday may be an opportunity for a breakout game for Keenum.