Halfway through the season, Case Keenum needs to make a statement.
The Denver Broncos are guaranteed to pay Keenum $25million over the next two years no matter what happens. If he makes it through both seasons, he’ll earn $36million from the Broncos.
That’s a heavy investment for a man who’s middle-of the pack in yards, bottom-third in completion percentage and second in interceptions. Even though statistically Keenum hasn’t been a disaster, he’s certainly looked out-of-sync with his offense.
The interceptions are bad, the misreads, inability to step up into the pocket and reluctance to get rid of the ball may be worse. He’s hung his offensive line out to the wind, asking the Broncos tackles to carry professional pass rushers 10-yards upfield when a step-up from Keenum would give him the time is crazy. It creates holding calls and it’s part of an absent-minded vibe that has plagued Case’s time in Denver.
So, in the simplest terms we can muster; Knock that off. We know Keenum can be a good quarterback, it’s time he shakes off whatever has been forcing bad timing, high throws and unneccesary sacks and shows that.
This game decides whether Denver competes for the playoffs or competes for Oregon QB Justin Herbert. It has implications on whether popular players survive the trade deadline. It can buy Vance Joseph the rest of the season as Denver’s head coach.
The man with the most direct impact on the outcome is the one that touches the ball on every offensive play and for Denver that’s Keenum. Phillip Lindsay and Emmanuel Sanders will do their parts. Demaryius Thomas and Andy Janovich too. The offensive line will do well enough.
It’s Keenum that has to put one on his back. For a coach whose job he’s jeopardized. For a receiving corps he’s misused, for the efforts of a backfield that keep the Broncos competitive. For the $36 million dollars the Broncos will pay him to quarterback their team over the next two seasons.
Keenum doesn’t have Chad Kelly peering over his shoulder, at least in the minds of Broncos fans, anymore. Maybe that’s a motivator, the security of being allowed to make a mistake. Surely nobody is going to be clamoring for Kevin Hogan.
It’s time Mr. Keenum, time for you to be the guy you came here to be. The team and the town are ready.