Philadelphia Eagles: Case Keenum is nothing to fear in Week 1

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

While Case Keenum may be the Washington Redskins’ best quarterback, he’s hardly a serious threat to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1.

Case Keenum is one of the 40 or so best quarterbacks in the world right now.

As one of the most prolific signal-callers in Conference USA history, Keenum transformed a seldom relevant Houston team into a juggernaut while helming future Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin‘s air raid offense, and has taken that gritty underdog mentality with him to the NFL – where he’s started 54 games over seven seasons as an undrafted free agent.

However, the bad thing about being a top-40 quarterback is that there are usually 32 better players at any given time in the NFL, effectively placing a player like Keenum firmly into the backup territory.

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Now don’t get me wrong, Keenum is a dream backup quarterback, the kind of quarterback who can step in and keep a team humming without missing a beat, but it’s hard to justify giving him the keys to a franchise long-term when players like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Teddy Bridgewater, and Ryan Tannehill can arguably do what he does only better.

Which is why the Washington Redskins‘ decision to start Keenum in Week 1 over the Philadelphia Eagles is such a nonfactor.

On the surface, Jay Gruden‘s decision does make sense, as Dwayne Haskins is clearly not ready to start after a, shall we say, ugly preseason littered with interceptions, but at the same time, is Keenum really the answer even short-term?

I mean sure, he’s better than longtime, seemingly-always-injured backup Colt McCoy, but so is Josh McCown, who’s set to start his 19th NFL season next month firmly entrenched behind Carson Wentz as the Eagles’ backup quarterback.

Who knows, maybe Washington doesn’t need, or even want, a high-flying gunslinger like Wentz to be competitive in 2019 – instead focusing on winning games with stout defense, a ground-‘n-pound running game, and clock management – but at the same time, game managers typically don’t fare too well against Jim Schwartz‘s attacking 4-3 defense.

Need proof? Look no further than the Eagles’ 2017 NFC Championship game bout against the Minnesota Vikings.

In what would ultimately be Keenum’s final start for Mike Zimmer‘s squad, the Eagles thoroughly shut the Vikings down – holding Pat Shurmur‘s typically potent offensive assault to a whopping seven points, versus a 38 point outburst by fellow fringe starter (turned Super Bowl MVP) Nick Foles.

Maybe Washington would have a better chance of competing in Week 1 – and in 2019 in general – if they had Foles under center?

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Ultimately, the Washington Redskins kind of had to go with Case Keenum as their starting quarterback in Week 1, because they just don’t have a better option on their roster. However, just because the 31-year-old Houston grad is the best player available doesn’t mean he’ll pose much of a threat for the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1 – especially on the hallowed grounds of Lincoln Financial Field.