LANDOVER, Md. -- The opportunity was there for Mike Zimmer to "guide the narrative," if you will, for the coming week.
Case Keenum had just played one of the best games of his career, helping the Minnesota Vikings earn a critical NFC win over the Washington Redskins in which he threw a career-high four touchdowns and put the offense in position to score a season-high 38 points.
Keenum did most things right, in large part, which is among several reasons the Vikings have achieved a 7-2 record without a starting-caliber quarterback and other parts of the offense.
For as magnificent a performance as Keenum turned in early Sunday, the quarterback threatened to undo it all when he threw two interceptions on back-to-back drives in the second half.
He did enough to secure a tough road victory. It just wasn't enough to secure his job outright for the next game against his most recent former team, the Los Angeles Rams.
To be fair, Keenum has not gone into a week as the announced starter after any of his wins. The earliest he says he found out that he was starting was last Wednesday, when Teddy Bridgewater was activated and named the backup against Washington.
Zimmer has said the Vikings will evaluate who will start each game, between Keenum and Bridgewater, on a "day-to-day" basis. After the game Sunday, Zimmer revealed that he still isn't ready to detail much of his strategy, but he might have given an important clue about where it's headed.
"I've got a plan, and we'll just see how it goes," Zimmer said. "Sometimes plans change. We'll see how it goes, and we'll sit down this week, and we'll visit about it and go from there."
Keenum's two interceptions weren't game-changing, but when and how they happened, with the first coming from a lofted pass thrown off his back shoulder into triple coverage, gave some pause.
"Interceptions are going to happen," Zimmer said. "We kind of had the game pretty much in hand at that point, and with those two interceptions, that's how you let teams back in the ball game. We haven't played with a big lead before, and we need to learn how to do that as well."
If Keenum hadn't thrown those two picks, would we be discussing why he should or shouldn't remain the starter?
But we are. With Bridgewater active for the first time in 672 days and, by all accounts, ready to play whenever needed, the focus from here on out will be when the Pro Bowler will be put in position to get his job back.
Although the quarterback situation is as murky as it has been all season, one thing isn't a mystery: The Vikings have to play Bridgewater this season. It's not only important for him but also necessary for the Vikings to figure out whether they want to sign Bridgewater when he's a free agent in 2018. Remember, the only Minnesota quarterback under contract past this season is Kyle Sloter.
Is that the reason Zimmer hasn't been quick to name Keenum the starter as long as the team keeps winning games? Or did the plan potentially change after he saw Keenum flirt with disaster while knowing Bridgewater is ready in the wings?
From here on out, every errant throw, miscue and bad decision will be magnified tenfold. There's a chance that Bridgewater could experience some of the same blunders if he plays, too.
But the leash is shorter for Keenum, especially when Bridgewater's window to show what he is capable of hasn't opened.
That's all probably part of Zimmer's thinking for managing the position going forward, but he isn't ready to let you know his plan just yet.