HOUSTON -- Trust was Case Keenum's word of the week in the days following his worst performance of the season.
He got away from that against the Jaguars, not trusting his reads, not trusting his protection, not trusting himself to know when to strike. The result was 18 completions on 34 attempts for 169 yards and an interception. He was sacked twice for a total loss of 28 yards. His passer rating was 54.7.
It was immediately apparent in the Texans' 34-31 loss to the New England Patriots that Keenum had shaken off some of what ailed him against Jacksonville.
"He did a great job with his pocket presence today," Texans left tackle Duane Brown said. "Being able to sit in there and trust us up front and still extend plays a little bit longer and make some big plays down field. He was great all day. ... He absolutely trusted us. They were bringing a lot of different looks, a lot of different blitzes. He didn't panic at all. He sat in there, stayed very poised, very calm, and delivered it."
It certainly helped that the Texans rediscovered their running game. Keenum was successful off play-action, finding Andre Johnson that way multiple times. Johnson caught eight of nine targets for 121 yards. His eighth catch was his 900th career catch.
One of his most impressive throws of the day was a 66-yard bomb to rookie DeAndre Hopkins.
"That was actually a play [coach Gary Kubiak] drew up on the sideline," Keenum said. "We saw something in their defense, and felt that DeAndre could make a play for us. We just drew it up in the dirt and it turned out exactly how we wanted it to."
That play needed his trust to work.