Case Keenum’s NFC Championship Loss Is A Major Career Win

    Case Keenum was a long shot. His circuitous route to starting quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship game gives hope to all athletes to trust the process.  Keenum fell a game short of being able to add Super Bowl QB to his resume as the Philadelphia Eagles were a bit more of the team of destiny and stifled Minnesota’s Super Bowl plans with a 38-7 win. 

    Philadelphia Eagles on Twitter

    FlyEaglesFly

    But even in defeat, Keenum wins because all of the folks who doubted that Keenum had No. 1 starter stuff are eating crow today.  

    NFL on Twitter

    FIRST: Check out the beautiful @CaseKeenum7 + @KyleRudolph82 TD. SECOND: Watch them do a little curling in the end zone. #MINvsPHI #NFLPlayoffs https://t.co/5CsLSBmE9t

    Keenums been waiting for his shot at greatness for some time now. He broke every record in the book coming out of college at Houston and left the school as the NCAA’s all-time leader in total passing yards, touchdowns, and completions. Despite his Ric Flair drip in college, his 6-foot-1 frame scared scouts and he was eventually signed by the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2012. 

    After toiling in Houston for three years where he flashed starter potential, he ended up in St. Louis for two seasons, babysitting the pigskin until Jared Goff was ready to assume the helm. Circumstances fell in Keenums favor when Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford succumbed to injuries, leaving the undrafted rock slinger to run the offense for a well-rounded Vikings team with c’hip ambitions.  

    Keenum started double digit games before this season. His high in starts was 9, but in his 14 starts this magical run, Keenum went 11-3 and threw for over 3500 yards, 22 TDs and just seven picks while taking the Vikings to the cusp of the franchises first Super Bowl appearance since 1977 in Super Bowl XI when they faced the Raiders. He will forever be immortalized by the pass he threw to Stefon Diggs that defeated the Saints in the Divisional Round. 

    Minnesota Vikings on Twitter

    10 seconds left Down 1 61 yards to go The rest is history. #MinneapolisMiracle https://t.co/qjvtv4fat0

    The last time the Vikings made the NFC Championship Game was in 2010 when they lost to the Saints 31-28 in overtime. It has been 41 seasons since the Vikings last trip to the Super Bowl. Minnesota had a chance to become the first team to ever play the Super Bowl in its own stadium. 

    It was not to be for the Vikings or Case Keenum, who almost captured the respect hes been searching for his entire NFL career. In defeat, however, he proved that he is no scrub and no matter what the Vikings do with their three potential starting quarterbacks (Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford) Keenum’s playoff performance basically guarantees him a starting job somewhere next season.  

    Case Keenum Minnesota Vikings

    Case Keenum talks about his Journey in the NFL and how he’s can’t look over his shoulder at Teddy Bridgewater. Music – Stateless “Crash”

    With 14:00 left in the contest and Philly leading 38-7, the camera flashed on Carson Wentz walking on the sidelines with a huge smile on his face. Everyone counted the Eagles out when their MVP went down late in the season and the long shot of long shots took over in Nick Foles. Keenums making progress on his voyage for respect, but in his battle of Cinderella stories, he lost out to another undervalued journeyman. It wasnt Keenums time, but it definitely gives him hope for the future and solidifies the fact that he is an NFL starting quarterback capable of taking his team deep into the playoffs.  A few years back, most of the known football world didn’t even want to give Keenum credit for that. 

    JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.