The Houston Texans have made a change at quarterback for their week seven contest against the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Starter Matt Schaub will sit out for the day officially due to an injured ankle, giving Keenum his first meaningful start in the NFL.
Whether or not the injured ankle is the real reason for Schaub sitting out is up for debate. The veteran did leave last week’s loss to the Rams due to the injury, however he had fallen out of favor with fans weeks earlier.
Once considered an above average quarterback, Schaub began the season throwing a pick six, an interception returned by the defense for a touchdown, in four straight games. That’s an NFL record.
Suddenly the ‘pick six burger’ emerged at local bars, and fans ventured to Schaub’s home to let him know how they felt. Things were getting ugly in Houston. When Schaub went down with the ankle injury, fans actually cheered his departure.
The love affair with TJ Yates, who as a rookie finished the season at quarterback and took the Texans to the playoffs, and the team’s first ever postseason win, replaced Schaub at quarterback.
With Yates in control of the offense, the results remained woefully similar. Tossing a pick six of his own made fans and coaches alike quickly fall out of love with Yates.
That left the starter for this week up in the air, Keenum was considered a long shot, but was never ruled out by coach Gary Kubiak. The result is a first career start for Keenum in a game his team needs to win.
Playing against an undefeated opponent in the Kansas City Chiefs is no easy task, but Keenum needs to find a way to be the savior for Houston. Remember just a few months ago when the Texans were a popular Super Bowl pick? Seems ages ago doesn’t it.
Undrafted out of the University of Houston, the local favorite spent 2012 on the team’s practice squad.
No stranger to passing success at the collegiate level, Keenum set the NCAA records for passing yards, completions, and touchdowns. A brutal match up against the league’s third ranked pass defense will be a stiff test of how his game will translate to the professional level.
If he struggles, don’t be surprised if the fans come back around on Schaub, realizing he probably gives the team the best shot of victory despite his recent struggles.
Should Keenum succeed this week however, he has a great opportunity to take a starting job and run with it. The chance of a lifetime is before him, it’s up to him to seize it.
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express
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