Things have went from bad to worse for Nick Foles.
Head coach Jeff Fisher made the announcement Monday at Rams Park that Foles would be benched in favor of backup quarterback Case Keenum, who is a career 2-8 as a starter in his four seasons in the National Football League.
The 26-year old quarterback, who arrived to the Rams via a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles for quarterback Sam Bradford, has not even remotely played up to the expectations that not only the Rams had for him, but the city of St. Louis had for him. He has just six touchdowns and seven interceptions this year, and in his last three games, has thrown only one touchdown.
“You know, Nick just needs a break,” Fisher said. “Nick just needs a break right now.”
He also made it clear that it was his judgement to bench Foles after another lackluster performance.
“This is my decision, nobody came down the hall and said this is what we need to do,” Fisher added.
It was just two years ago when Foles had thrown 27 touchdowns while only throwing two interceptions.
He began to be hyped up from many analysts as one of the best young quarterbacks in the National Football League.
But since then, he has steadily declined.
In the 2014 season, while still with the Philadelphia, Foles and the Eagles started off the season by going 6-2 in their first eight games, but after suffering a broken collarbone, the team relied on backup Mark Sanchez. In the end, they finished the season with a 10-6, but missed the playoffs. His season stats in 2014 during his eight games were: 2,130 yards along with 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Fans in St. Louis were excited when Foles arrived, partly because of the injury-riddled four years they had dealt with when Bradford was at the helm. But things have not been much better, and while the Rams are 4-5, that record can be attributed to the efforts of the running game, led by rookie star Todd Gurley, and the defense, although they also have had many issues this season.
This past Sunday in the Rams’ humiliating 37-13 defeat at the hands of the Chicago Bears, Foles was 17 of 36 for 200 yards. However, the team in general was outplayed. Gurley was limited to 45 yards, and the defense gave up two plays of 80+ yards, while they entered the game only allowing one play over 39 yards all season.
One of the worst stats from last Sunday’s loss? Foles threw 12 passes of 10 yards or more.
He went 0-12 on those throws.
According to the Rams’ official website, that’s the most amount of attempts of that yardage without a completion in a decade.
Can the now-starter and former Texan quarterback Keenum perform better? His career stats are: 76.8 passer rating, 2,195 yards, 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions. But Fisher has indicated that he is firmly the starter until further notice.
“As I told Case, he doesn’t have a short leash,” Fisher said. “I’m gonna let him play. I’m gonna let him use his legs, & let him make some plays.”
Another issue involving Foles is the fact that in August, the Rams extended his contract to three-years, $26 million. The deal included $13.79 million in guaranteed money, and included incentives that could max out the deal at $39.5 million.
The bottom-line is that the Rams have a highly paid backup who ranks 29th in the league in passer rating (75.9), are stuck in a cluttered playoff race between multiple NFC teams, and need to play more consistently soon or their decade-plus playoff drought will live on.
St. Louis heads to Baltimore to face the Ravens on Sunday.
(AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)