With three touchdown strikes to Andre Johnson in the first half, Case Keenum helped stake the Texans to a commanding 21-3 advantage on Sunday night against the Colts. He and the team came up short, falling 27-24, but he was praised in the aftermath by coaches and teammates alike.
"I thought our young quarterback, if you just look at the stats, the guy played outstanding," defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said. "I thought he played really well for us."
Keenum finished with 350 passing yards and completed 20 of his 34 passes. His touchdown passes to Johnson went for 62, 41 and five yards, respectively.
"We were able to hit some double moves in our bootleg play action rollout game," Keenum said of the first two scoring strikes. "Andre did a heck of a job on both of those plays, making a move, and then just making a play downfield for me."
Johnson explained how the Texans were able to make the big plays.
"I think we just came out aggressive," Johnson said. "We took shots and we were able to hit them."
The success Keenum enjoyed Sunday night wasn't a surprise to running back Ben Tate.
"I wish I could say I was impressed, but I'm not because I've seen him do it," Tate said. "I've seen him do it in practice. I've seen him do it in camp. So that's just Case to me. I think if you weren't around then, you're impressed by him, but I always have said he's a baller and he's a natural leader."
Keenum was only sacked once against Indianapolis, and he impressed the Colts. Outside linebacker Robert Mathis entered the game with 11.5 sacks, but wasn't able to drop the slithery quarterback on Sunday night.
"Man, he had his coming out party tonight," Mathis said. "He is definitely on the radar now. He played a heck of a ballgame and we had our hands full with this kid."