Nov 10, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals defensive end Frostee Rucker (98) chases Houston Texans quarterback Case Keenum (7) during the game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Arizona won 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Which Houston Texans QB will be cut: Case Keenum or T.J. Yates?

The Houston Texans have one too many quarterbacks on their roster with four, so the question that all Texans fans have is … Which QB should the Texans cut this offseason?

Let’s just get it out of the way and assume that Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tom Savage won’t be cut because one is the present of the Texans (Fitzpatrick) and one is the possible future in the rookie Savage.

That cuts the equation in half, leaving the decision of the QB that will be released as either Case Keenum or T.J. Yates.

Oct 13, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans quarterback T.J. Yates (13) attempts a pass during the third quarter against the St. Louis Rams at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s take a little closer look at both QBs before we make our decision.

As for Keenum, he was 0-8 as a starting QB last season on a team that was the worst in the NFL. Was all of it his fault? No. Was some of it? Yes.

In the eight games he played in last season, Keenum went from being a spark for the Texans’ offense to being just another average QB in the NFL.

He finished 137-for-253 (54.2 percent) with 1,760 yards passing and nine touchdowns. He also threw six interceptions and fumbled six times. His overall rating was 78.2.

Keenum’s ESPN QBR rating was 34.5.

Compare that QBR to Fitzpatrick, who played 11 games for the Tennessee Titans last season, whose ESPN QBR rating was 55.4, as his overall numbers were 217-for-350 for 2,454 yards and 14 touchdowns. Fitzpatrick also has 12 interceptions and eight fumbles.

For Keenum, his competition percentage dropped each month from October through December. He went from 60.0 in October (25 attempts) to 54.1 percent in November (135 attempts) to 52.7 percent (93 attempts).

A plus for Keenum was he did have one game of over 300-plus yards passing, coming on Nov. 11 where he went 20-for-34 with 350 yards passing and three touchdowns against the Indianapolis Colts.

His final two games of the season, at Jacksonville and at Indianapolis, he passed for 159 yards and 168 yards, going a combined 34-for-63 with one touchdown and three interceptions.

In his final four games played in ’13, Keenum had just one touchdown pass and four interceptions.

Now for Yates.

The veteran backup is just that … a veteran backup. I don’t see Yates ever being a starter for the Texans or any other team in the NFL (except for maybe the Cleveland Browns, as they are a fan of having many starting QBs since their return to the NFL).

Yates had just 22 attempts last season, going 15-for-22 for 113 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. He also fumbled once.

For his career, Yates has 1,100 yards passing and three touchdowns, plus he has started in two playoff games, winning one against the Cincinnati Bengals in 2011.

In the ’11 regular season, Yates played in six games, going 82-for-134 with 949 passing yards, as he kept most of his passes short, by averaging 7.08 yards per throw.

In his two postseason starts, Yates is 28-for-55 with 343 yards and one touchdown, as his role when he is under center is to manage the game, not to take over the game.

In terms of what is best for the Texans, unless they want the safe choice of the professional backup, then maybe Yates is their guy.

If I were the Texans, I’d keep Keenum for the lone reason there could still be some untapped potential with the QB. With Yates, everyone pretty much knows what they are getting.

Who would you keep, and why?

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Tags: Case Keenum T.J. Yates Texans

  • trinity

    I would rather they cut Yates out of the two

  • mike

    Case Keenum will be lucky to get cut with the sorry Texans team so he can go shin and prosper with a good team. He will be picked up as soon as he is cut by any other team, I guarantee it. . He did his best with the second and players from street and a weak defense that gave up so many late touch downs late in the game. He should have won at least three games.

  • Sandy Therrien

    I keep Case and Yates. I like the competition they had last year. I think they push each other to be better. Fitzpatrick is TERRIBLE. HE is bad. Sure he has been in the league 9 years but he has only had significant playing time in 7 of those 9 and only had 2 years in which he played in 16 games. He is awful. If you get excited about the fact that Fitzpatrick is your QB then you are either Jeremy Lin (same college) or you spank it to the TV Guide. Keenum has potential in a new system to really shine and the proof of that is the first 3 starts he made which was the best first 3 starts stat wise (other than the lack of wins) in the history of the NFL. That includes all previous Hall of Fame QB’s and current QB’s. THE BEST. Hate him if you want but he will shine somewhere. If he is not cut he will be the week 1 starter… Wait and see

  • Ryan Pedro

    Dump Yates, keep my boy Keenum, once Fitz chokes/gets injured (and he will) put him in, and see what he can do… If Obrien is half the coach he thinks he is, he can get Keenum on the right track… Keep Savage in the wings for the future… Oh, then dump that sorry ass Fitzpatrick…

    • chilly16

      I agree but what do you think would happen if they had been able to trade for Ryan Mallett? I know that he’s not had alot of play time in the NFL butttt damm has he got an arm on him,almost as thought he was throwing a heat seaking missle…lol Then again, the Patriots are saving him for when Brady has had enough.Good luck to the Texans~

  • G. Guy

    Yates has playoff experience. I’d say trade Yates for a future draft choice, don’t cut him. Whether the Texans trade him or cut him, they should do it soon so he can get a fresh start with a new team.

  • Robert Hay

    why is fitz on the team…..he sucks…..his lifetime QB rating is two points better than Keenums last year on a crappy team as a rookie with no running backs….however….Obrien saying its an open competition is bullshit…..they aren’t putting fitz anywhere below starter or backup with the money they payed him…..they aren’t cutting their draft pick……so that means Keenum and Yates for the last spot…….Obrien seems to like prototype QBs so Keenum is probably out and Obrien is just saying its an open competition to let us Keenum fans down easy…..Keenum is easily the best current QB on the roster, Savage could be good , but to soon to tell and not very mobile……

  • hexor

    Stephen Forsha,
    You’ll be eating crow soon enough with the rest of the haters! The Starting Job is Keenum’s to lose & that’s not going to happen…Keenum will take the Texans to the Super Bowl in the near future! Keenum may have too much talent for Obrien to harness he might want to pick up the phone and give Kliff Kingsbury a call on how to harness All of Keenums talent!!!

  • Game Ball

    Keenum over Yates. Keenum was a victim of the Kubiak play calling and a weakend Offensive line ,running back and defense due to injuries. He showed a lot of leadership and courage to take the hits he did. His pedigree is the best of the whole bunch. He also is the cheapest QB they have, and that will be the reason they keep him.