Case Keenum, signed in free agency initially as a backup quarterback, has how played in seven of Minnesota's eight games, starting six of them, and has helped the Vikings arrive at their bye week with a 6-2 record.
According to Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune, Keenum's ability to move in and out of the pocket and extend plays with his feet has been an "underappreciated aspect" of the Vikings success through the first half of the season. Goessling wrote:
Keenum's mobility, used to stress defensive coverages and create big plays downfield, has become a major part of the Vikings offense as the quarterback has put his stamp on the team during the first half of the 2017 season. According to Pro Football Focus, he is third in the league on throws outside the pocket, with a passer rating of 114.1.
Goessling pointed out that four of Keenum's seven touchdown passes have been on throws made outside of the pocket, including a throw to Adam Thielen in the end zone on Sunday.
In Keenum's first game as a starter [in Week 2], his mobility might have worked to his detriment, as he often dropped too deep in the pocket against the Steelers and was quick to bail outside of it on several occasions. Now that he's in better sync with the Vikings protection schemes, he's been able to use his mobility to great effect this season, whether it's on a designed rollout or a play where he's looking to improvise.
Minnesota's offensive snap count on the rise
Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer during his podium session Tuesday said that he's pleased with strides Minnesota's offense has taken this season, including a significant improvement in running the ball.
The Vikings have spent more time on the field offensively, which is evident in the number of plays they've recorded.
John Holler of *Viking Update *highlighted the Vikings season-high 85 snaps against the Browns. Holler wrote:
In addition to translating into season-high snaps for many of the regular starters like the offensive linemen, as well as those that are usually heavy on playing time – Case Keenum, Kyle Rudolph and Adam Thielen – it meant more time for some of the subs.
The defense was only on the field for 59 snaps, the second-lowest count of the season, and Harrison Smith, Xavier Rhodes and Eric Kendricks played every one of those snaps.
Stefon Diggs welcomed by Minnesota Wild
Stefon Diggs swapped out his Vikings Purple for Minnesota Wild Green Tuesday night.
The wide receiver attended the Wild-Jets game at the Xcel Energy Center. Prior to the puck drop, Diggs led the arena in the traditional "Let's play hockey!" call and was featured on the video board in a custom Minnesota Wild sweater.