Would HOU have beaten OAK if it didn't bench Keenum?
It lost to the Oakland Raiders—led by undrafted rookie Matt McGloin—28-23 on Sunday. Houston benched Keenum at halftime for Matt Schaub, perhaps its greatest gaffe in the embarrassing performance.
Sunday afternoon should mark the last time that Keenum isn’t under center for the Texans barring injury.
Only five quarterbacks with at least 100 pass attempts entered Week 11 with a higher passer rating than Keenum. Despite that fact, Houston’s coaching staff pulled him after a first half in which he completed 13 of 24 passes for 170 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Keenum didn’t play well, but the Texans still held a 17-14 lead under his watch.
Schaub blew said lead, something he’s done often in 2013.
He’s having his worst season with the Texans by far, throwing just eight touchdowns compared to nine interceptions. He will be 33 years old next year. It's become clear that they’ll never win a Super Bowl with him at quarterback.
The 25-year-old Keenum, however, has potential.
He has yet to lead Houston to a win, but he entered Sunday’s action having thrown for 822 yards, seven touchdowns and zero interceptions in three starts against teams with winning records—the Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals. Keenum could’ve notched that first victory against the Raiders if the Texans hadn’t pulled him after his first interception of the year.
At the rate it's losing, Houston will be in position to draft one of the many promising passers in next year’s NFL draft class. Even Teddy Bridgewater is a possibility, with the Texans only one game ahead of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Texans still must let Keenum prove that he doesn't have more potential than the 2014 prospects. If Houston doesn’t, it will be forced to use a likely top-five pick to roll the dice on a quarterback who could ultimately be a bust—which isn't the most efficient rebuilding strategy.
David Daniels is a breaking news writer at Bleacher Report and news editor at Wade-O Radio.