The 2017 NFL regular season is nearing its end, with just three weeks to go. The NFC already has several teams almost cemented into a playoff spot, including two teams led by former St. Louis Rams quarterbacks. Case Keenum, who had a brief stint with the Rams in 2014, and then started five games for the Rams in 2015, is leading the way for the 10-3 Minnesota Vikings. Nick Foles, who was traded to the Rams before the 2015 season, is now the starter for the NFC leading, 11-2 Philadelphia Eagles. But Foles has not led Philly to where they are now, as starter Carson Wentz tore his ACL Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams. Foles will be the Eagles starter from here on out. He knows the Eagles system and has talent, anything could happen.
Keenum took over for the former number one overall pick of theSt. Louis Rams back in 2010, Sam Bradford, who was hurt back in Week 1 this season. Bradford had wear and tear on his knee, due to having two torn ACL surgeries in his time in St. Louis. Bradford underwent surgery a few weeks later and had his season ended. Enter Case Keenum. Keenum has started all but one game since the start of Week 2, which was Week 4, when Bradford started but Keenum came in relief and got the win.
Keenum has dazzled this season, boasting a 9-3 record (8-3 as starter), thrown for nearly 3,000 yards and nearly 20 touchdowns with still three games remaining this season. Behind an incredible defense, solid offensive line, and weapons aplenty on offense, Keenum is set and the Vikings are appearing as serious Super Bowl contenders.
Nick Foles on the other hand has been all over the place since the end of the 2015 season. Foles was released by the Rams in the summer of 2016, after having a down season and despite being signed by the Rams through the end of the 2017 season. Foles isn’t fully to blame for the Rams struggles in 2015 though, as the offensive line was a wreck and Foles did not exactly have the best disposal of weapons. His best weapon was an underused Tavon Austin, who the Rams magically learned how to use properly once they were grounded in LA.
About a month after his release from the Rams, Foles signed a one-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs, where he would play backup to Alex Smith. Foles only played in two games that season, including in Week 8 against the Indianapolis Colts. Smith was injured, but Foles threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns in relief to help the Chiefs to a 30-14 victory. Foles saw his only start of the 2016 season the following week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he threw for 187 yards and a touchdown in a 19-14 victory.
The following offseason Foles would sign once again with the Eagles, this time to back up the young Carson Wentz. The Eagles originally drafted Foles in 3rd round of the 2012 NFL Draft, and he undoubtedly had the most success of his young career in Philly. Foles even made it to the Pro Bowl in 2013, a season in which he played in just 13 games, only started 10 of them, and threw for almost 3,000 yards and had an incredible touchdown to interception ratio of 27:2.
Foles has appeared in four games this season, three of which were in garbage time when the Eagles were blowing out their opponents. Foles took over in the fourth quarter Sunday in a pivotal game against his former team. Foles did get a couple of drives in, and completed a difficult but crucial third down pass to Nelson Agholor on 3rd & 8 with under two minutes remaining. Foles on the year is 10/14 for 98 yards, zero touchdowns and zero interceptions, with a QB rating of 90.8. Foles has several weapons around him in Philly, and knows Doug Pederson’s offense. Foles is also 20-16 in his career as a starter, going 15-9 in his time with the Eagles.
While it may take time to develop chemistry between Foles, his offensive line, and his playmakers, it should not be a surprise to see Foles potentially succeed in the postseason. The Eagles have already clinched the NFC East, and have three games to get used to Nick Foles as the QB before they hit the playoffs. While I am not going to sit here and say he is going to lead them to the promised land, I am simply saying Foles has a colossal chance to succeed now in his second stint with Philly. If he can revert to the player we saw back in 2013, watch out.
Case Keenum, as aforementioned, is also in a great situation for himself. The Vikings are solid all around, and Case Keenum has shown the ability to make plays, both with his arm and his legs. The knock is always that a team needs an elite quarterback to win a Super Bowl, but one of these men could potentially change that. Players like Brad Johnson and Trent Dilfer won Super Bowls as starting quarterbacks in the early 2000’s. Both men were good, but were not phenomenal quarterbacks by any stretch of the imagination. However, their respective teams had a good supporting cast on offense and an incredible defense, ultimately leading them to the Super Bowl win. So, while it will not be easy, it is not impossible.
While it has been hard to find enjoyment in the NFL since the Rams left town, at least these guys are making it somewhat interesting for us. Without a doubt, I will be cheering hard this postseason for the Vikes and Eagles, and would love to see one of these former Ram QB’s win the Super Bowl. Not to mention that three former Rams play for the Eagles now, including Chris Long, Rodney McLeod, and obviously Nick Foles. The Vikings also have a few former Rams that have already been mentioned with Keenum and Bradford. So, unless you have stopped paying attention to the NFL altogether, or have found solace in rooting for a different team, I highly recommend jumping on the Eagles and Vikings bandwagons for the postseason. Good luck to both Keenum and Foles, I know I’ll be rooting for them this postseason.