From 2012 to 2014, Case Keenum played football for the Houston Texans. He was an undrafted free agent out of the University of Houston who originally scrapped his way to the practice squad. From there, he gritted his teeth and ran the other team’s offense against the Texans’ first team defense and provided the best look he possibly could, ensuring that yes, his team would be as prepared as possibly for the upcoming week. It was a cool story. The native Texan, the local college product, making his way to the neighborhood professional team.
Then 2013 happened. Matt Schaub’s arm fell off. He threw a lot of pick-sixes. He was injured against the then St. Louis Rams and rolled around on the ground to the beat of boos from the hometown crowd. T.J. Yates came in and promptly threw a pick-six of his own, conclusively proving there is a higher being and something bigger than us all.
Then Case Keenum got to play actual professional football for the Houston Texans.
For the remainder of the 2013 season, Keenum could throw the ball downfield and not much else. He had a completion percentage of 54.2%, 9 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions, but he did average 7 yards an attempt and 12.8 yards a completion. Most importantly, he had no idea what to do against a pass rush. He would run backwards from men bigger, faster, and stronger from him, eventually taking insane sacks. Keenum was sacked 19 times. He lost 201 yards. He lost 10.57 yards per sack. It was so beautiful.
Keenum wasn’t brought back the following year, but he made his way back to Houston anyway. Both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Ryan Mallett were injured. Keenum made two spot starts late in the 2014 season. The Texans won both games, ensuring Bill O’Brien would have a winning record in his first year as a head coach.
This was three years ago. In the space between, even when Keenum was getting his brains splattered under Jeff Fisher and playing bad football for the Rams in their return to Los Angeles, some would pop in on this site to confess their undying love and loyalty for Keenum. Those brave souls would claim that Keenum should still be the quarterback of the Texans, that Houston would be better with him, and other statements that seemed absolutely idiotic, outlandish, and ridiculous at the time.
Now look who the dumb ones are!
It’s us. The ones who laughed and told the Keenumites to sniff around somewhere else. But the Keenum disciples were right all along. We were the haters and losers. Because after an elite season in which Keenum tossed spectacular, lofting, deep passes and led the NFL in DVOA, was 4th in DYAR, had a touchdown interception ratio of 22:7, and averaged 7.3 yards an attempt, Case Keenum is now on the cusp of being a Super Bowl quarterback. He has traveled further into the postseason than the Houston Texans ever have.
Everyone is lauded for the things they were wrong about. Rarely are people appreciated for the times they are right. For those of you who stuck with your guy, congratulations. Enjoy it. Savor it. You were right all along. We were wrong.
Your hometown hero, Case Keenum, could become a Super Bowl champion.