vikings

Previous Story Trae Waynes and other Vikings early-season overreactions Next Story Keenum’s pocket presence and other takeaways from the Vikings-Steelers game tape

If Case Keenum has to start again, how can the Vikings improve his play?

On Monday, we did not get any clearer a picture of whether Sam Bradford will be under center at US Bank Stadium Sunday when the Minnesota Vikings face the Tampa Bay Bucs. That means there’s a chance that Case Keenum could start again for the Vikings.

Against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Keenum had his good and bad moments. He completed three passes of more than 20 yards and did not turn the ball over. However, the former Texan and Ram walked away gaining only 3.7 Yards Per Play on passes and completed just 54.7% of his throws.

If Keenum is called upon again, the Vikings can improve his performance significantly by doing a better job in protection.

“We did have some communication issues.,” head coach Mike Zimmer said Monday. “There was a couple times we were late off the ball. It wasn’t just on him, it was a combination of things.”

All quarterbacks are better when given a clean pocket, but Keenum has a particularly wide gap between his play when under duress and when he has time to throw. Sunday’s game reflected that.

According to Pro Football Focus, Keenum completed just 6-of-16 passes for 52 yards when pressured, but went 14-for-21 with 115 yards when he had time to throw.

The problem: He was only kept clean on 53.8% of his dropbacks.

Both tackles Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers allowed four pressures each and Keenum was sacked twice.

Zimmer said that solving the pass-pressure issue is about more than just the offensive line improving. It’s on Keenum too.

“Sometimes  we’re protecting at a certain depth and the quarterback is too deep,” Zimmer said. “Did we get beat sometimes? Yes, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it protection issues.”

Giving Keenum time to throw allows Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs’s routes to develop. And the former Houston star can get them the ball on intermediate routes. Last season with the Rams, Keenum had a 95.5 rating when throwing between 11 and 20 yards.

It might come as a surprise, but Keenum can hit the occasional deep ball, too. In 2016, he went 5-for-12 on throws between 31 and 40 yards.

The Vikings will also have to give him more support out of the backfield.

While first half struggles were largely caused by weak run blocking,  it was clear the Vikings needed more out of their running attack early in the game. Dalvin Cook finished the game with 64 yards on 12 carries, but he only rushed six times for three yards in the first half.

One of the ways to avoid getting stuffed is to not become predictable. Last season, Keenum averaged 7.7 YPA on first down. His best throw on Sunday, a 24-yard toss to Adam Thielen, came on 1st-and-10.

In the passing game, Cook and Jerick McKinnon need to be much more effective in order for Keenum to win. They combined for nine yards on five catches.

And of course, the Vikings’ defense can’t commit penalties that allow their opponents extra opportunities like they did against the Steelers. Keenum simply isn’t good enough to bring his team back in games. Last year, he had a 68.0 rating while trailing, but an 87.8 rating when tied and 78.9 when ahead (and averaged 7.8 Yards Per Attempt).

Bottom line is: The Vikings didn’t offer Keenum much help in his first game, but they also played against a Super Bowl-contending team. In order to win with Keenum under center, they will need better protection, more out of the running backs and a sharper defensive performance.

  • Ponderosa

    Either permit him to run out of a weak pocket or protect him. The worst a defense ever did to themselves against Keenum was to pressure him put of the pocket. Some from the years of Tarkington and Montana might understand that. Keenum always had a short protection count from weak o-lines in Houston yet he absolutely lit up the NCAA records. His best performancesin the pros have been in 2 minute drills with hurry up offenses.

    • DellaBRodriguez

      Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family!!!
      On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
      !vp38:
      ➽➽
      ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash18MediaCrucial/GetPay$97/Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★:::::!vp38j..,.

    • JackieWMenefee

      Google pays now $99 to each worker for working on computer.You can also avail this.
      On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this last four weeks..with-out any doubt it’s the most-comfortable job I have ever done .. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
      !si298:
      ➽➽
      ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleBrandFinanceReportsOnline/online/easytasks ★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫:::::!sd48l..,….

    • Jordan Musser

      There were multiple times this past Sunday where Keenum saw pressure was coming and turned into Christian Ponder and immediately turned his back and ran backwards or to a sideline. If he would have actually stepped up in the pocket on those plays he would have had a clean pocket to work out of because those edge rushers would have ran up the field.

      This was atrocious to watch as was the Pittsburgh 4th and 1 at their own 37 yard line in the first quarter of a 0-0 game when Robison jumps offsides on a hard count… Instead of staying disciplined and forcing the Steelers to punt they scored 7. It also was shocking that right after committing that penalty he somehow was left in to play the next snap. Trae Waynes on the other hand had some bad plays as well but he got pulled to the sidelines after his mistakes, why didn’t Robison?

      • MChiver

        I thought the exact same thing. Had to do a double take, because I thought for a moment we had transported back to 2012. Must be the number!

  • Brent

    It would help if Keenum could get the ball out sooner, like Bradford last year. Give him one long shot and a checkdown – not 3-4 options to progress through.

  • Gordon Guffey

    This was a good read and I agree with most of it ~ The OL play has to improve and I believe it will ~ This was a game where most every unit be it the OL or the LB or the DB and so on had their ups and downs ~ Keenum wasn’t perfect for sure but he didn’t get a lot of help ~ As Zimmer said they keep shooting themselves in the foot ~ He was correct ~

    IMHO here ~ Take the two PI calls away along with Robison jumping offside om 4th down plus Tom Johnson lining up wrong on the FG and the this could have been a very winnable game for the Vikings ~ Its not like the Steelers just blew the Vikings up and walked all over them ~

    Plus something that isn’t being talked about is that this was their first Home game after the long time owner of the Steelers had past ~ Their HCcoaches surely had them juiced up over this ~

    In the end its a lose but not the end of the world ~ It was a lose but they were bet up like the Broncos did to the Cowgirls ~ Its a lose where most units made mistakes ~Its a lose and thats about all that can be made of it ~

    Come on Sunday and and bring TB with you ~ ~

  • David Prestin

    With the current NFL qb shortage maybe it’s time to allow defenses only 5 rushers, let dbs cover like the old days to even things up a bit, and lastly change pass interference to a 15 yard penalty like in college. Too often games are influenced by iffy interference calls imo. Drastic? Maybe, but I think things need to change.

    Oh, keenum question……fewer penalties tops my list. And tell him to stop backpedaling instead of stepping up in the pocket.

    • cka2nd

      Definitely agree about changing the pass interference penalty, and am inclined to agree about giving defensive backs more leeway in coverage, but limiting the number of pass rushers seems too artificial to me, and would stifle innovation.

    • Carl A Brodin

      Keenum did do that in the Tampa bay game.

  • Based God

    Case Keenum is unwatchable. I will skip every game he starts. Nothing can improve him. He makes poor decisions and misses passes. Also Dalvin Cook is not good enough to carry a running attack. He will only be effective when the line and passing game are carrying him. He is not Adrian Peterson.

    • Robert Hay

      Case keenum set the record for consecutive completions at la rams last year …they have had hall of fame qbs…..he is just like any other qb give him time and he will excel……ben r got 215 of 245 yards from a clean pocket…..did you see how 2 time super bowl qb ELI did with a crappy line monday night……brady could eat a sandwich in the pocket before throwing….bradford would have been killed by pitt

      • Based God

        lol Watch a game. He is horrible.

        • Robert Hay

          i watched the game, and went back and watched the condensed version, they would have had a chance without all the penalties, there were 4 first downs called back on penalty, and penalties by defense contributed to most the points. I saw zimmers depth comment and thought I saw 2 instances where keenum was probably a little deep,

  • Gordon Guffey

    This is a more endepth look at the problems the OL had ~

    How the Steelers pressured Case Keenum and stunted the Vikings’ offense
    By Andrew Krammer SEPTEMBER 19, 2017 — 10:36AM

    Read it free today at
    http://www.startribune.com/sports/vikings/access-vikings/

    Or go to the pay site tomorrow to read it
    http://www.startribune.com/vikings-film-review-how-the-steelers-pressured-case-keenum-stunted-the-offense/445711123/

  • wdnemesis

    They have to keep a short quick pass play style at the start. They need to pass to Dalvin Cook more also because he is absolutely scary in space.

    • Gordon Guffey

      Cook has not been as good a catching the ball in the first two games has he was in the preseason ~ Its something they need to work on this week ~ It may be just a case of trying to hard ~

      But your right he is absolutely scary in space ~ Same goes for McKinnon who isn’t the runner Cook is but can be very useful in the short passing game ~ I believe as the season goes on we will see more and more of Murray who also has good hands and has made his fair share of big plays with the Raider both running and receiving ~ I for one dont care who is making the plays as long as someone is helping more the chains ~

      • JanieMTarnowski

        Google is paying 97$ per hour,with weekly payouts.You can also avail this.
        On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this last four weeks..with-out any doubt it’s the most-comfortable job I have ever done .. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
        !dw54d:
        ➽➽
        ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleNewNetJobsNetOpportunities/earn/hourly ★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫:::::!dw54l..,..

      • WandaJArcher

        Google is paying 97$ per hour,with weekly payouts.You can also avail this.
        On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this last four weeks..with-out any doubt it’s the most-comfortable job I have ever done .. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
        !si290d:
        ➽➽
        ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleLegitimateSpeedJobsFromHomeJobs/get/hourly ★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫:::::!sf120l..,..

  • Gordon Guffey

    This was a very good read with good insight into what may have been the OL biggest problem ~ This game should remind us that this unit still isn’t were it will be at the end of the year ~

    Handling pressure not only rests on O-line, but Case Keenum too
    http://www.espn.com/blog/minnesota-vikings/post/_/id/23712/helping-case-keenum-improve-under-pressure-rests-not-only-on-vikings-o-line-but-on-the-quarterback

  • Fernando Rey

    Keenum is bad. Real bad. Our only hope is the running game takes pressure off the passing game. Plus, a good running game keeps the defense off the field, giving them rest to be dominate as possible when they are on the field.

  • Talltales08

    The best way to improve Keenum’s play is to start the 3rd string QB!

    • Carl A Brodin

      After the Tampa bay game how can you say that about Keenum.

      • Talltales08

        The answer is: No I can not. However, can you honestly say that your not surprised by how good a game he had?

  • Justin Fuchs

    1-15

    Clap Clap ClapClapClap

  • Maurice White

    Keenum sucks! Vikings should cut him and sign Colin Kaepernick!

    • Chip Toof

      That was funny. Got any more?

      • cka2nd

        I’d be keeping Kaep’s agent’s phone number in my back pocket just in case Bradford is more injured than we thought, Bridgewater really can’t play this year and Keenum doesn’t improve. First, I’d re-sign Taylor Heinicke to the practice squad, but I wouldn’t dismiss Kaep out of hand at all.

  • Pete

    Praying would be just as useful in order to help Keenum





vikings

Previous Story Trae Waynes and other Vikings early-season overreactions Next Story Keenum’s pocket presence and other takeaways from the Vikings-Steelers game tape