Case Keenum quietly threw for a career-high 380 passing yards in the Redskins 32-27 Week 1 loss against the Eagles in Philadelphia. Washington, of course, got off to an early start but ultimately couldn’t keep the lead against their division rivals.
Don’t Blame Case Keenum For Second Half Collapse Against Philadelphia Eagles
He edged Washington into a three-score lead by halftime with two long touchdown passes, a 48 yarder to Vernon Davis and a nice 69-yard bomb to rookie Terry McLaurin. Philly eventually tightened things up in the second half and didn’t allow Washington to score again until the last three minutes of the fourth quarter.
Keenum’s record-setting performance compacted by his ordinary but efficient preseason proves he is the game manager the front office signed up for. Keenum looked more like the 2017 Minnesota version that helped lead his team to the NFC title game, not the six-win, 2018 Denver Broncos version.
Gruden consistently put him in the best possible situation to succeed with every drop back. The offense did stagnate in the second half, as they failed to score another point until garbage time.
Why It Went Wrong
The offense stalling in the second half should not be pinned on quarterback Keenum. The running game was all but abandoned, which is unconventional for teams playing with a lead. Running back Derrius Guice was only called upon three times after half time before leaving the contest with right knee soreness.
There was also a lack of counterpunch from the Redskins offensive staff in second-half adjustments. The secondary played better zone defense and shut down the middle of the field and tackling the short passes in front of them. The Eagles completely neutralized the big passing plays that led to Washington’s lead.
Washington only had eight measly minutes of possession time after halftime, including just two minutes and 39 seconds in the third quarter. In the first half that saw them score 20 points, they held the ball for a total of 17 minutes and 15 seconds. There’s a big correlation between time of possession and victory.
The Redksins are more likely to win despite Case Keenum, than lose because of, and in the NFL, there’s not much more you can ask for at quarterback. He plays efficient, turnover-free football and can navigate a manageable game into a win with the right support of strong defensive play and wise playcalling.
Embed from Getty Images