Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Strange case: Bucs could face nemesis Case Keenum again

Who, you might wonder, will be the first NFL quarterback to beat Jameis Winston three times?

The natural guess would be a division rival, and Carolina's Cam Newton and New Orleans' Drew Brees have beaten Winston twice already.

But the first quarterback this season with a chance to beat the Bucs for a third time in three seasons is ... Case Keenum?

If Sam Bradford's knee keeps him out Sunday as it did for the Vikings this past week, then the Bucs will face Keenum, who led the Rams to victories against Tampa Bay in each of the last two seasons.

Keenum has been sharp -- in 2015, he was 14-for-17 for 234 yards and two scores (a 158.0 QB rating) and last year, he was 14-for-26 for 190 and two touchdowns with an interception. His specialty? Beating the Bucs with the deep ball.

Put it this way: Since the start of the 2015 season, Keenum has three touchdown passes of 43 yards or longer against the Bucs -- 43 to Tavon Austin and 44 to Brian Quick last year, and 60 yards to Kenny Britt in 2015. Three such TDs in two games, and the rest of the NFL, in a combined 31 games, has matched that number -- three total: Marcus Mariota to Kendall Wright in the 2015 opener, Carson Palmer to Jaron Brown last year at Arizona, and Jay Cutler to Cameron Meredith on the Hail Mary.

That 2015 game, with the 158.0 rating? It's the second-best QB rating against the Bucs in any game in the last 10 years, trumped only by Mariota's 13-for-15, 4-TD gem in the 2015 opener. Brees and Matt Ryan have faced the Bucs 18 times each in that span, and never had a QB rating as high as Keenum's that day.

Keenum is rarely the QB of choice for a Bucs opponent -- he took over for Nick Foles in 2015, was holding a spot for Jared Goff early last season, and now could be filling in for an injured Bradford.

It's a good test for how improved the Bucs defense is against the deep ball -- last year, when Keenum had the two long passes, the Bucs had allowed six pass plays of 43-plus yards in three games. They got it together and allowed six total over the remaining 13 games of the season, and didn't allow a play longer than 20 yards in Sunday's win against the Bears. Minnesota had pass plays of 44, 35 and 30 yards in their opener against the Saints, so there's the potential for deep passes if the Bucs aren't ready for it.

Sign up for Bucs Red Zone

A daily report of whats happening inside the locker room and on the field.

 

Sign up for our other newsletters

(View our Privacy Policy)

Comments
Bucs release defensive tackle Chris Baker

Bucs release defensive tackle Chris Baker

Hours after they parted ways with running back Doug Martin, the Bucs continued their initial wave of roster cuts Tuesday afternoon, releasing defensive tackle Chris Baker.Baker, 30, lasted only one season with Tampa Bay, managing just a half-sack aft...
Published: 02/20/18
Bucs release two-time Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin

Bucs release two-time Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin

TAMPA — After six up and mostly down seasons, Doug Martin's run with the Bucs is over.The two-time Pro Bowl running back was released by Tampa Bay Tuesday, a move that was expected after he failed to rush for less than 500 yards in four of the ...
Published: 02/20/18
Some big Bucs roster decisions are looming

Some big Bucs roster decisions are looming

The Bucs plan to release running back Doug Martin and defensive tackle Chris Baker sometime before the NFL scouting combine which begins Feb. 27 in Indianapolis.There likely will be more, but they still are undecided on the future of defensive ends R...
Published: 02/20/18
Defensive linemen who could follow Brentson Buckner to Bucs

Defensive linemen who could follow Brentson Buckner to Bucs

Now that the Bucs have announced that Brentson Buckner is their new defensive line coach, could his connections help shape Tampa Bay's search to upgrade their pass rush this offseason?The chance to play for a familiar position coach can be a major fa...
Published: 02/20/18
Bucs agree to terms with Brentson Buckner to be their defensive line coach

Bucs agree to terms with Brentson Buckner to be their defensive line coach

Brentson Buckner didn't need to bring his resume when he interviewed for the Bucs' job as defensive line coach. No references were needed, either.All the Bucs had to do was ask quarterback Jameis Winston whether the Arizona Cardinals defensive line w...
Published: 02/19/18
On the mend: Bucs’ Noah Spence posts workout pic

On the mend: Bucs’ Noah Spence posts workout pic

Defensive end Noah Spence, whose two NFL seasons have both been limited by injuries to his right shoulder, is getting himself healthy for the 2018 season.Spence has kept a low profile since the Bucs placed him on injured reserve in late October, a mo...
Published: 02/19/18
Video: Bucs QB Ryan Fitzpatrick gives advice to Little Leaguers

Video: Bucs QB Ryan Fitzpatrick gives advice to Little Leaguers

Ryan Fitzpatrick is an unrestricted free agent, and his future with the Bucs remains uncertain. But the veteran quarterback is still very much here in Tampa and still sharing his wisdom with younger athletes.In this case, they're much younger —...
Published: 02/19/18
Jameis Winston is about to get a big pay raise. It will cost the Bucs more than money

Jameis Winston is about to get a big pay raise. It will cost the Bucs more than money

TAMPA – Jameis Winston is heading for a big payday with the Bucs. He's played well enough to make that an easy decision.But what impact will that have on the type of players they surround him with?The Bucs are expected to exercise the fifth-yea...
Published: 02/16/18
Bucs interview Brentson Buckner for defensive line job

Bucs interview Brentson Buckner for defensive line job

The Bucs continue to move quickly with the defensive line opening on Dirk Koetter's coaching staff, interviewing former Cardinals assistant Brentson Buckner.Buckner, 46, spent the last five years as Arizona's defensive line coach, leading the unit to...
Published: 02/16/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Jameis Winston investigation, Lightning trade possibilities, more

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Jameis Winston investigation, Lightning trade possibilities, more

It’s a Mailbag Friday as Rick Stroud answers your questions, including what will happen with the Jameis Winston investigation, who should the Bucs sign in free agency and would Warren Sapp make a good defensive line coach?Also, who will win more game...
Published: 02/16/18