Thursday, October 17, 2013
KC rough place for Keenum to get start
By Adam Teicher
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The news the Houston Texans will start Case Keenum at quarterback in Sunday's game against the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium came too late to get reaction from the Kansas City coaches or locker room.
So you'll have to rely on my analysis, which is this: seriously?
Keenum will be taking a snap for the first time in a regular-season NFL game and the Texans want him to do it against one of the league's best defensive teams and in a loud stadium that has proved to be an obstacle even for veteran quarterbacks.
With starting quarterback Matt Schaub out for Sunday's game with an ankle injury, the Texans should have gone to Keenum if the game was being played in the comfort of Houston's Reliant Stadium. But on the road? Tough thing to ask of a young guy. Seems like T.J. Yates, who won a playoff game for the Texans two years ago for the injured Schaub, would have been the better choice.
I understand Yates had a rough game against the St. Louis Rams last week, throwing a pair of interceptions with one being returned 98 yards for a touchdown. But this smells way too much like desperation, throwing a guy in for the first time on the road against an unbeaten opponent.
ESPN colleague Tania Ganguli, who covers the Texans, looks at the possibility of this move turning out for Houston like Denver's move to Tim Tebow did for the Broncos two years ago. Then, Tebow rescued Denver's season and guided the Broncos to the AFC West championship and a playoff victory against Pittsbugh. The floundering Texans, losers of four straight games, need that kind of spark and perhaps Keenum is better equipped to provide it.
From that angle, this move makes sense. This Keenum experiment could work out well for the Texans. But it's difficult to see it starting that way Sunday at Arrowhead, where one of the NFL's best and most aggressive defensive teams awaits.