If Case Keenum leads the Vikings to the Super Bowl – or a Super Bowl win – there’s a pretty good chance he’ll be the starting quarterback for the Vikings next season.
The same cannot be said, however, for Nick Foles. Carson Wentz, 25, was an MVP candidate before tearing his ACL in December, and when he’s healthy enough to return, the job is his.
But Sunday’s NFC Championship is still important for Foles. If he plays well – especially if he wins – he might be the starting quarterback for a different franchise next season. That says a lot about Foles, but it also says a lot about something else.
“(It says) how bad quarterbacks are in the league right now,” Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News columnist Marcus Hayes said on Ferrall on the Bench. “You’ve got a lot of guys who are sort of proving themselves to not be viable quarterbacks who have been big picks in the past. Robert Griffin III didn’t have a job this year. Neither did Colin Kaepernick – and not just because of his protest. Colin Kaepernick didn’t make them sign him this year. There’s a dearth of good quarterbacking in the league right now, and Nick should be in his prime. You’ve got a bunch of 40-year-old guys.”
Well, Tom Brady is 40. Drew Brees is 39.
Brees finished with a solid stat line against Minnesota in the divisional round – 25-of-40 for 294 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions – but he did not look good in the first half. In fact, the Saints trailed 17-0 at the break.
“Drew Brees in the first half, obviously the Bengay hadn’t kicked it,” Hayes joked. “He just looked terrible.”
Foles, meanwhile, is one win from the Super Bowl.
“Nick Foles is in a sweet spot right now,” Hayes said. “If he can resurrect himself one more time, the Eagles trade him, he gets a nice healthy contract extension – he stays in the league for three or four more years, whether he does well or not.”
Although the Vikings have statistically the best defense in football, Hayes thinks that Eagles fans – and Foles – should be happy that they’re playing Minnesota, not New Orleans.
“The better team, I thought, going into the playoffs with Carson Wentz’s injures, was the New Orleans Saints – no matter where they played,” Hayes said. “With Drew Brees, with Sean Payton, with their experience and their talent, I thought that they would win two games and wind up in Philadelphia – or win one game and wind up in Philadelphia if the chips fell the other way. If you’re a Philadelphia fan, I think you’re happier to face the Vikings than the Saints, who should have won in Minnesota. Think about that: They should have won a game in Minnesota against the best defense with no bye game. That’s how good the Saints were.”