The Denver Broncos are 2-0 under Case Keenum’s leadership, but not because of it. Keenum is having a bad season, completing less than 60 percent of his passes with more interceptions (4) than touchdowns (3). Denver is winning because it has a good defense and is averaging 5.2 yards per rush attempt as a team, making the Broncos the NFL’s second-best running team through two weeks.
All of this will come crashing down soon enough. The Broncos will soon reveal themselves to be the average team they are, and when that happens, Chad “Swag” Kelly will become the first Mr. Irrelevant to start at quarterback.
Four of Denver’s next six games are on the road, with a Monday night game at home against Kansas City (2-0) and a home game against the Rams (2-0) mixed in. The last game of this six-game stretch is at Kansas City, and the Chiefs, just by being themselves, will force the Broncos to try to win with the passing game, since that is the only way to beat a team like the Chiefs, who have 10 passing touchdowns in two games.
If this stretch goes poorly for Denver — and it probably will — we could be seeing Kelly’s first start on Nov. 4, when the Broncos face Houston at home. Houston stinks, so it would be a good time to see just how much swag we’re talking about here.
The alternative is that Keenum turns it on as he did last year in Minnesota, when he threw for 3,500 yards, 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions, completing 68 percent of his throws. But that was by far the best of his five seasons to that point, and the way this year has started, he looks more like the guy who’s changed teams five times in six seasons.
Unless they’re winning, I don’t see John Elway sticking too long with a 30-year-old quarterback with a two-year contract and a career passer rating of 85.3. If that’s the level of play the Broncos are going to get from Keenum, there isn’t much of a point in dragging it out.