Minnesota quarterback Case Keenum, who was not drafted out of college and is with his third NFL team, is having a strong run with the Vikings.
The former record-setting University of Houston signal-caller has a 7-2 record this season and is set to face the Falcons at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mercedes Benz-Stadium.
Keenum is the top-ranked player among starting quarterbacks, according to analytics website Football Outsiders.
They rank the quarterbacks according to the defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA), and Keenum’s 33.4 percent is the top-ranked ratio in the league. New England quarterback Tom Brady ranks second at 31.1 percent.
They also evaluate quarterbacks according to a defense-adjusted yards-above-replacement (DYAR) measure, and Keenum’s 981 rating ranks second in the league. Only Brady (1,206) and New Orleans’ Drew Brees (991) are rated higher. (Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is rated sixth at 790.)
Keenum has helped stabilize the quarterback position after Sam Bradford went down with a knee injury. Teddy Bridgewater, a one-time first-round pick, has returned from serious knee injury and has been active for the past three games.
But Keenum has been playing well, and the Vikings are averaging 27.4 points over their seven-game winning streak.
Keenum, who started his career with the Texans (2013-14) and played for the Rams (2015-16), has completed 218 of 330 passes (66.1 percent) for 2,476 yards, 14 touchdowns and five interceptions. He has a passer rating of 96.2.
He has formed a bond with wide receiver Adam Thielen, who has 70 catches for 1,005 yards and three touchdowns.
Keenum’s also using wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who has 40 catches for 598 yards and five touchdowns and tight end Kyle Rudolph, who has 46 catches for 429 yards and five touchdowns.
Before this 7-2 run, Keenum had a 9-15 record as a starter with the Texans and the Rams. He signed as backup to a one-year, $2 million deal.
"He's done great,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. “This last game he played within himself, and I thought that was good. He's typically made really good decisions. He typically does not make poor throws in a lot of situations.
“He gets us in the right plays, and I think (offensive coordinator) Pat Shurmur has done a nice job with him as well. It's been a combination of things, but we're happy with how it's been going."
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