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Keenum Gets the Starting Nod for the Texans, Smith Called a Good Game Manager. Again.

Looking for a much-needed spark, the Houston Texans (2-4) have looked behind curtain No. 3 and selected quarterback Casey Keenum as their starter for Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs (6-0). Texans coach Gary Kubiak made the announcement on Thursday that injured starting quarterback Matt Schaub will be out and Keenum got the nod.

So much for backup quarterback T.J. Yates. In last week’s game against the St. Louis Rams (3-3), the third-year player went 12-of-17, 98 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions with one as a pick-6.

Casey Keenum

Casey Keenum

For Keenum, this will be his first NFL start. Kubiak noted that the player has been impressive for quite some time beginning with training camp, preseason play and then practice. Now he’s gained an opportunity to showcase his talents.

Kubiak said of the player via NBC Sports, “He’s given me confidence through camp. He continues to grow. We’re looking for a spark and he deserves an opportunity. It’s a tough place to play. It’s a tough place to get your first start and all that good stuff. But I’m not sending him out there by himself. I’m sending him out there with his football team, and the guys understand that.”

Keenum joined the Texans last season as an undrafted rookie and spent year No. 1 on the practice squad. Houston wasn’t new to him as he attended the University of Houston for six years. His long journey including first a redshirt season but he then tore his ACL during his senior year. He snagged a medical redshirt and came back the next season, leading his team to a perfect regular season. Houston sat in the Top 10 but snapped their win streak against Southern Miss in the Conference USA championship game.

He left the school with a number of NCAA records including career passing yards (19,217) and touchdown passes (155). He is also only one of two quarterbacks to have more than one 5,000-yard seasons, according to ESPN.

But how will this translate to the NFL? We all know college success isn’t always a perfect path to the NFL (see Tim Tebow). It’s unfortunate Keeuam’s first game will take place against the Chiefs who will get the win (-7, 39.5 o/u).

Smith Chiefs edits

Alex Smith

As for Kansas City, they’re solid at quarterback with Alex Smith. Recently, the player received a similar compliment by his head coach Andy Reid, who believes Smith is a good game manager.

Yes, it’s that compliment that every quarterback wants to hear. Kind of like saying someone has a great personality but…

Reid said via CJOnline.com, “Listen, he’s taking care of the football, and when it counts, he makes the plays. I appreciate that. We’re winning football games and he’s doing a nice job of managing it, and everyone feeds off it, both sides of the ball, his ability to manage it.”

In other words, the guy is a team player.

It’s not the first time Smith has heard the game manager reference. His former San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh had said the same of him when he played for the team.

But is it the worst thing? Probably not. It is winning games for the team and Smith, he is only playing under a one-year contract for the Chiefs. He currently sits behind Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning at No. 2 for the least amount of interceptions (three) even though Manning has thrown more passes.

He also has the same amount of wins as Smith and will also try to extend the Broncos win streak this weekend against the Indianapolis Colts (4-2).

Which team will fall first? For the Broncos, they’ll also keep their win streak alive (-7, 56 o/u) this week.

As for keeping their eyes on the prize, the Broncos sit at 5/2 to win the 2014 Super Bowl, while the Chiefs are 18/1.

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