That it’s taken this long for the Rams to make the switch from Nick Foles, who has led St. Louis to league-worst marks in just about every passing metric, is more a testament to the fact that Plan B isn’t very attractive either. But at 4-5, they aren’t out of things yet, so why not put up a Hail Mary and hand things over to Case Keenum? It couldn’t be much worse.
Head coach Jeff Fisher said yesterday that he’s making the change to Keenum, who was acquired for a seventh-round pick on the very same day the Rams landed Foles in trade for Sam Bradford. And it’s not just a temporary switch.
“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, and let him make some plays.”
Keenum, who at 27 is actually a year older than Foles, has bounced around between Houston and St. Louis in his four seasons in the NFL, spending two stints in each. While his track record may not boast much to be excited about, Foles’s position was untenable. Through nine games Foles has posted a 56.6 percent completion rate, throwing for 1,678 yards, seven touchdowns, and six picks. The Rams, and 178.7 yards per game, are dead last in passing offense, and 31st in total offense despite the presence of Todd Gurley. It’s grim.
Fisher acknowledged that the entire offense, from the disappointing O-line (which just lost two starters for the season on a single play) to the thin receiver corps, needs to play better, but that “we need more production, and it starts with that [QB] position.”
If there’s any silver lining here, it’s that the Rams probably won the Foles-Bradford trade no matter how this goes down. Bradford hasn’t looked great in Philadelphia, and will now miss at least a couple of games with injury. But St. Louis also got fourth- and second-round draft picks in exchange for a fifth. Less appealing is the contract extension Foles signed before playing a snap, which, while still giving the Rams some flexibility, probably means Foles will be back next year.
Fisher claims to not be worried.
“By no means do we regret the trade, by no means do we regret the extension,” Fisher said. “Nick is a good quarterback. He’s captain of the football team. But at this point, right now, based on where we are offensively, I feel like this is the direction we have to go. ... Nick also understands that he eventually will be under center for us again.”
The Rams are 4-5 (having scored fewer than 20 points in all five losses), and are three games back in the division and two games out of the wild card.