Broncos QB Case Keenum agrees to take more chances

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ENGLEWOOD | Case Keenum knows he’s gone from being too careless with the football to being too cautious.

Denver’s gunslinger said Tuesday he agrees with head coach Vance Joseph that he needs to take more downfield chances if the Broncos (6-7) can have any chance of making the playoffs.

“Yeah, I mean we’re at the point of the season where we’ve got to make plays. We’ve got to score points,” Keenum said. “… I can’t get caught back there with the ball in my hands. And I’ve got to give guys chances down the field.”

Keenum hasn’t thrown a pick in his last five starts after throwing 10 interceptions in his first eight games in Denver, but his passing numbers have slumped lately. He’s averaged just 178 yards passing in his last three games and he’s already been sacked a career-high 30 times.

So, Keenum said he’ll balance ball security with taking chances down the seams beginning Saturday night against the Cleveland Browns (5-7-1).

Denver Broncos quarterback Case Keenum throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Josie Lepe)

In general, that’s a good mindset to have,” Keenum said. “And I think … continuing to be smart with the ball but giving guys chances when we feel like it’s a good matchup or good, advantageous time to take a shot or take a chance down the field.”

Keenum was criticized early on for throwing too many interceptions, including three against Seattle in the opener. After going all of November and half of December without getting picked off, he’s now drawing criticism for being too conservative.

It comes with the territory, Keenum said.

“I mean, quarterback is a tough position to play, and that’s why I play it. I love the challenge of it,” Keenum said. “I love how much goes into it. And how my entire life I have absolutely loved having the ball in my hands, making decisions and really being a big part of why my team wins.

“And that’s what I want to be. I want to win. I’m a winner. I’m competitive to a fault and I think that’s what partly drives me and makes me who I am. So, yeah, I take it on myself that I’ve got to do better. I’ve got to play better. I’ve got to give my guys chances down the field and that’s it.”