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Sunday, July 21, 2019

Football

Keenum’s Texans’ debut ends with a loss


Case Keenum threw for 271 yards in his debut as the Texans' starter. |  Courtesy of the Houston Texans

Case Keenum threw for 271 yards in his debut as the Texans’ starter. | Courtesy of the Houston Texans

Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said he pegged former UH quarterback Case Keenum as a signal caller to provide the team a spark after a lethargic performance last week and because Keenum gave the team its best chance to win in the absence of starter Matt Schaub.

In his first NFL start, Keenum and the Texans were more competitive, but fell just short 17-16 in a matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday. However, Keenum did end the Texans’ season-long streak of games with an interception returned for a touchdown.

For a first-time starter, defeating the Chiefs is a tough task. Kansas City leads the league in sacks, and the team’s home venue broke the world record for loudest sports venue during its 24-7 victory against the Oakland Raiders last week.

“It was a heck of an atmosphere and a heck of a team to break the seal on,” Keenum said after the game to HoustonTexans.com 

But late in the fourth quarter, the Texans had a chance to steal a road victory.

With the ball in his hands and less than two minutes remaining, Keenum had a chance to capture the lead by driving from his own 10-yard line, but it wasn’t to be.

A forced fumble by Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali that was recovered by linebacker Derrick Johnson sealed the Texans’ fate.

“If we had given him a little better protection at the end, I think he’d gotten us down the field again,” said Texans owner Bob McNair to Fox 26. “I thought he did a heck of a job. He was outstanding.”

It was a back-and-forth contest that featured four lead changes. Keenum’s lone touchdown, a 29-yard strike to rookie wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, gave the Texans a 10-7 lead. Keenum and receiver Andre Johnson connected four times for 89 yards.

“Their blitz package was pretty extensive tonight and confused me a lot of the time especially there in the fourth quarter,” Keenum said.

The Texans lost two pro bowlers, running back Arian Foster and linebacker Brian Cushing.

Keenum threw for 271 yards and a touchdown while hitting six different receivers during the contest.

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