The Case for Case: 7 Plays That Justify Case Keenum Staying The Texans Starter
"I've got to sit down and look at our situation and what's going on right now. Obviously, Matt's our starting quarterback. Case (Keenum) play this week because Matt wasn't healthy. Case went in and played extremely well. I'm going to sit down, we're on a bye week, I'm going to evaluate where we're at as a team and move forward from there. So I'm going to do that everywhere, not just at the quarterback position, I'll do that at every place." -- Texans head coach Gary Kubiak, at his Monday press conference
Now, in Texans colors.
For grins, let's start at a place where we actually take Gary Kubiak at face value in what he's saying above. Let's assume that Case Keenum's 271-yard, catastrophic-mistake-free performance in Kansas City on Sunday left Kubiak unmoved, and that Matt Schaub's error-laden, plodding style is "exactly what this team needs."
Let's assume that Gary Kubiak is perfectly comfortable with Texan fans booing their own starting quarterback out of the building in two weeks, and that he's moderately intrigued by what Reliant Stadium would smell like if it were burned to the ground.
(For the record, I don't believe Kubiak truly thinks that Schaub is the best choice. I think Kubiak deep down knows that the "obvious" decision is to play Case Keenum again on Sunday, November 3. And the week after that, and the week after that. And I think that's what will happen.)
Let's pretend that I'm an attorney and that I have to provide evidence that Case Keenum is the Texans' best option.
Let's also pretend that I can't just point at the box score and say, "Here's why Case should start," because in theory that should be enough. It should be enough that his passer rating of over 110 was the highest all season against that undefeated Chiefs defense. It should be enough that Case Keenum had more passes of 20 yards or more on Sunday (six) than Matt Schaub had over the previous four weeks (five).
That's the previous four weeks combined.
But let's pretend for a second that the judge wants video evidence. Video evidence that Case Keenum is precisely what Schaub isn't -- a player with a few specific physical things he does at an above-average level, where when players around him are struggling or failing, he can pick up the slack and make a play.
In short, we need video evidence that there were a few times Sunday where we said, "Thank God, Case Keenum was our quarterback on that play, and not Matt Schaub, 2013 version."
Here is that evidence from Sunday's game (A few of these were unable to be embedded on YouTube because the Roger Goodell sucks, so those plays are hyperlinked.):
1. 1st quarter, 11:20 remaining, 1st and 10, incomplete deep pass to Garrett Graham
I know this was an incomplete pass, and before Matt Schaub was shellshocked into becoming the next Craig Whelihan it was a throw he made many times, but here Keenum is under pressure on this throw and is able to plant and throw, accurately and quickly without having to really step into the throw. It was a message sent early that the Texans would stretch the field, which is funny considering they hadn't been able to get off a deep ball in over a month.
2. 1st quarter, 2:03 remaining, 1st and 10, 42 yard pass and run to DeVier Posey
Keenum's super-quick release was the difference maker here, as well as his ability to thread the ball through some clutter at the line of scrimmage. It allowed Posey to make a play before the defense could react to his pattern.