Case Keenum Struggled in His First Preseason Game with the Bills

Aug 13, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Case Keenum.Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports.

Vikings fans know Case Keenum for his legendary 2017 season in which he helped the Vikings win the NFC North, threw the Minneapolis Miracle against the Saints in the playoffs, and well, we won’t talk about the NFC Championship game. However, since that season, he’s been bouncing around the league after Minnesota signed Kirk Cousins in free agency that offseason. After a two-year stint in Cleveland, he landed with the Buffalo Bills as Josh Allen’s backup this offseason via trade.

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In his first preseason game with Buffalo, Keenum had his struggles. He never truly got into a rhythm, which is understandable for a QB playing his first game with a new team. Keenum went 11/18 passing for just 86 yards and threw a pair of interceptions to the Indianapolis Colts defense. He also suffered a strip sack during the second quarter, making Keenum the cause of three Bills turnovers. Buffalo’s offense was inside the red zone twice while Keenum was on the field and came away with zero points.

The Bills ended up winning the game, 27-24, despite their first six drives going like this:

  1. Turnover on downs
  2. Interception
  3. Punt
  4. Fumble
  5. Fumble
  6. Interception

Matt Barkley came into the game during the second half and had a much better time, completing 18/24 passes for 225 yards and a single interception. After an early deficit, the Bills scored 17 points in the fourth quarter to complete the comeback win.

Keenum’s place as the backup likely won’t be impacted by one half of football given his resume, but here’s what the veteran QB had to say after the game:

“I’m out there with 10 guys who are prepared, practiced a lot with, had a great game plan, and I thought coming out the first drive we moved the ball well, thought we ran the ball well. I thought the offensive line played pretty well,” Keenum said. “It is preseason, so you need to take it with a grain of salt knowing that it’s not quite as game planned of a call sheet that we normally have. I thought we did some good things and there’s a lot of stuff to work on and get better at, as well.”

-Case Keenum on his first preseason game with the Bills, via The Buffalo News

Since going 11-3 with the Vikings in 2017, Keenum was the full-time starter in Denver for 2018 and then started eight games for Washington in 2019 before joining the Browns in 2020. In his 26 starts during that time, his teams have gone 9-17.

It is unlikely that Keenum loses the QB2 battle to Barkley in Buffalo, but he must take better care of the football next time out. His next opportunity comes on August 20th as the Bills go up against the Denver Broncos.