Case Keenum grabs his helmet in frustration after a poor throw against the Detroit Lions. (Photo Credit: Brian Curski)

In another Minnesota Vikings win, quarterback Case Keenum brought his team to 7-2 — and in the process made the quarterback decision that much more difficult.

The first half of play for Keenum was perhaps the best 30 minutes of quarterbacking he has ever done at the professional level. His three touchdowns and 13.2 yards per attempt in the first half might be interpreted as a thunderous argument for the starting job next week and for the rest of the season, but his play shortly afterwards tailed off.

Though he had an occasional poor throw in the first half, including a near-interception thrown to Josh Norman, he broke down much more in the second half. Another dangerous throw to Treadwell that could have been picked off was followed two plays later by an actual pick from D.J. Swearinger.

The very next play, Swearinger followed that up with another interception, this time very nearly scoring a touchdown.

Those two interceptions didn’t tank Keenum’s passer rating, which ended at a cool 117, but it did give rise to concerns about his ability to sustain that level of play and keep the Vikings in games.

For example, his passer rating in the first half was a near-perfect 154.9 and in the second half was 80.6. His adjusted yards per attempt was 16.5 in the first half and 3.3 in the second half.

Keenum is a wild thrower with arm strength issues, so it’s not surprising to see his performance slingshot between excellent and abysmal — he had very few average throws, instead opting for high-risk, high-reward attempts aside from a few screen passes.

He demonstrated better pocket presence and movement against Washington than he has throughout the season, when he would often walk backward in response to pressure instead of stepping into clean space.

The argument for starting Bridgewater was already strong, but Keenum has made strong arguments for and against himself this week.

The former Ram may have the chance to beat the team he played for last year, but he hasn’t made the decision on who to start any easier with his tale-of-two-halves performance.


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