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Bleacher Report – Vikings

As Case Keenum’s supporting cast faltered, so did he

By Matthew Coller

At one point this season, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum said that he felt like he was driving a Lamborghini. On Sunday, he was driving a clunker. As was the case all season, Keenum went as his team went. That just happened to be down and out on Sunday.

After one drive, you would have thought the Vikings were set to cruise to the Super Bowl. Keenum caught the Eagles off balance and dropped a beautiful pass into the hands of Kyle Rudolph for a touchdown. But throughout the rest of the NFC Championship, Keenum came up short when his team wasn’t up to par.

On his game-changing pick-six in the first quarter, Eagles edge rusher sped around backup right tackle Rashod Hill. Down 14-7 with just 3:25 left in the half, he was strip sacked when rookie Derek Barnett blew past tight end David Morgan.

”I think he was playing a typical Case Keenum game and we just had a couple of bad plays that, in a game like this, become magnified,” offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said.

In the first half, the Vikings averaged just 3.4 yards per attempt with their longest carry picking up just 10 yards and on defense, the Vikings were stunningly ineffective, forcing the offense to get into a shootout – something they were never asked to do this year.

Under pressure, Keenum had made a number of terrific plays this season but he’d never faced pressure like Philadelphia brought on Sunday. The Eagles only sacked him once, but they forced a number of poor throws.

Keenum’s receivers also weren’t 100 percent. Adam Thielen was playing through a back injury that limited him in practice all week, while Stefon Diggs took an early shot in the back that forced him to hobble off.

”I didn’t play well enough,” Thielen said. “Us as receivers, as competitors, we put a lot on us. We know we have to make plays to help this team win. I didn’t do that, personally and it’s frustrating to get whooped like this.”

All year Vikings fans watched as their team protected Keenum, ran the ball effectively, played lockdown defense and made incredible catches. When those things didn’t happen, the Vikings’ quarterback had no chance.

”We tried everything we could to get back in the game, it just wasn’t clicking,” Diggs said.

The Vikings’ quarterback finished 28-for-48 with 271 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions.

It’s hard to say what that might mean for Keenum’s future. He had a terrific season and beat Drew Brees in a playoff game, but ultimately the Vikings came up short despite putting together one of the best rosters in franchise history.

The post As Case Keenum’s supporting cast faltered, so did he appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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