Despite only beating North Carolina since Thursday, the Wolfpack moved from 32nd on the board to 28th, jumping an entire seed line. That was primarily due to a re-evaluation of NC State’s numbers, which include an RPI of 18 and an overall SOS of 16.
It will be a reunion of sorts for Foles and Keenum, who are former Rams teammates. Foles was benched in favor of Keenum in 2015, when the franchise was in St. Louis. By the summer of 2016 the team was in Los Angeles, the Rams had picked quarterback Jared Goff first overall in that spring’s draft and Foles wanted out. The Rams granted his request to be released.
Now, the two will face off Sunday in Philadelphia with a trip to the Super Bowl at stake.
“I don’t know if I can put it in perspective right now,” Keenum said after the Vikings’ first-of-its-kind, walk-off victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. “My family’s here. I’m just going to go enjoy the night and get ready for the conference championship on Sunday.”
Keenum, undrafted in 2012 before a couple of unremarkable stints with the Houston Texans and the Rams, became the starter in Minnesota only because of injuries to Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater. But once he was allowed on the field this season, there was no getting him off it. He played at a near-MVP level, and now he has the Vikings a win away from becoming the first team to play a Super Bowl on its home field.
“You need to look at exactly how the ratings are going backwards,” said Schnatter, who donated $1,000 to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. “Last year the ratings for the NFL went backwards because of the elections. This year the ratings are going backwards because of the controversy. And so the controversy is polarizing the customer, polarizing the country.”
Benkert spent the first three years of his career at East Carolina. After redshirting in 2013 and being the backup in 2014, Benkert was set to be the starter in 2015 before a knee injury took him out for the year. Benkert, then a graduate, transferred to Virginia in 2016, where he immediately became the starter.
Benkert reads the field well pre-snap and can anticipate where receivers will be open in quick-passing concepts. He throws as soon as his back foot hits the end of the drop back, and does so with excellent velocity. Benkert tends to throw behind moving targets and throw short of stationary targets. He’ll need an offense with West Coast and Air Raid influences. If he can show improved ball placement — especially on perimeter routes and in one-on-one situations — he can earn a draftable grade.