First came a delay of game, a penalty charged to Case Keenum. Then came pressure from his left on the third-quarter drive, forcing a run to his right while dodging Packers defensive linemen on third-and-13. The Vikings quarterback, now bound by the right sideline and an incoming Packers linebacker, completed a throw that might have made Fran Tarkenton blush. A backpedaling Keenum found tight end David Morgan, who slipped four Packers defenders for the night's biggest play of 23 yards and led to a field goal in the Vikings' 16-0 victory. "I'm actually in protection and the play kind of busted," Morgan said. "I knew Case was looking for somebody, and I just had to let my guy go in hopes of getting open. And he saw me and we made something happen." A key to Keenum's career-best production — and the Vikings' Super Bowl hopes — has been his ability to create in pressure situations. Keenum is pressured roughly 35 percent more than he is sacked, which is a league-leading differential among the likes of Philip Rivers and Russell Wilson, according to Pro Football Focus. In part because of his ability to make something positive happen, the Vikings' passing game has allowed only 25 sacks, which is the franchise's fewest in a season since 1998 (25). Keenum's mobility can be "a lifesaver" for the offense, said right tackle Mike Remmers, but it's not something the offensive line necessarily wants to rely upon for success. "A lot of times he's extending the play because something broke down, and he's making you right by fixing something you screwed up," guard Joe Berger said. "It's great to have a quarterback who's mobile back there, who can extend the play and get the ball down the field." Keenum's athleticism previously might have been overlooked. He came to the Vikings with 163 career rushing yards in 26 games. He already has 160 rushing yards this season in an offense predicated on keeping the quarterback clean by moving him around, which is a nice fit for Keenum's game.
Case Keenum proving he can make plays with his legs
Minneapolis Star Tribune | Dec 29