Case Made, Now About That Head Coach
The Texans went into Kansas City on Sunday afternoon, armed with their pride, an acute sense of urgency and whatever short term effects the energy boost of a change at quarterback would provide, trying to save their season.
Photo by Groovehouse So, what was that play call again?
And after a hard fought 17-16 loss to the undefeated Chiefs, amidst some renewed hope for the offensive side of the football and an injury report that is now teetering dangerously close to becoming a body count, two things became abundantly clear:
Case Keenum needs to be given an opportunity to lead this team after the bye week, and Gary Kubiak's time should be running out as the head coach of the Houston Texans.
Taking each of these one at time:
In his first regular season action as an NFL quarterback, Keenum acquitted himself very well, showing the energy, poise and playmaking ability that's caused Gary Kubiak to continually sing his praises from virtually the time that he arrived in the building as an undrafted free agent before the 2012 season.
The day began with a modest 27-yard drive to put three points on the board early in the game and it ended with the first turnover of Keenum's career, a fumble deep in Texans territory with under two minutes to go on a sack by Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali. But in between, Keenum completed six passes of 20 yards or more (more than Matt Schaub had completed in any game this season and in the previous four games combined) and averaged over ten yards an attempt on 25 attempts.
Beyond the stats, though, the recurring theme in Keenum's first career start was the highly expected, stark stylistic contrast to Schaub. I believe it was Keenum's nine yard scamper to open the second half that finally caused the phrase #ThingsCaseCanDoThatMattCant to begin trending on Twitter in Houston and surrounding areas.
For whatever flaws he showed (all curable, by the way), on the aggregate, Keenum's ability to extend plays and make reads down the field covered up some shoddy play along the offensive line, some curious play calling by Kubiak and a general lack of a running game (73 yards on 24 carries).
In short, the Texans were better today because of Case Keenum. He was a plus player.
Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the head coach.