On Sunday, as you watch the NFC Championship game, keep close eye on the two starting quarterbacks Nick Foles of the Eagles and Case Keenum of the Vikings. They have a lot more in common than just football.
Nick Foles was originally drafted by the Eagles in 2012. After serving as a backup to Michael Vick, he got his first taste as a starter late in 2012. In 2013, he took over the starting job and had one of the best seasons ever, throwing for 27 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions in leading the Eagles to the NFC playoffs. As quickly as he was the hero, Foles quickly lost favor in Philly and was traded to St. Louis in 2015. The next season, he signed with Kansas City and then came back to Philadelphia in 2017 as the backup QB to Carson Wentz. After not playing much all year, Foles found himself in a unique position to become the starter on a team headed to the playoffs when Wentz suffered a season-ending knee injury.
Case Keenum was undrafted in 2012 coming out of college but was signed by the Houston Texans and placed on their practice squad. In 2013, Keenum was promoted to the active roster as a backup and in Week 7 of that year, he made his first career start. In 2014, after being waived by the Texans in preseason, Case was signed by the St. Louis Rams. After being waived by the Rams, he was then signed again by the Texans. In March of 2015, it was back to the Rams as Keenum was traded by Houston. The start of the 2015 season saw Keenum as a backup to then Rams starter Nick Foles. Last year, Keenum was again going back and forth between starter and backup with the now Los Angeles Rams. In 2017, Keenum signed a one-year deal with the Vikings as a backup. When starter Sam Bradford went down after Week 1, Keenum, much like Foles this year, became the starter and remained there all year.
Foles and Keenum are both backup quarterbacks who became starters. They also happen to be followers of Jesus Christ and guys who put their faith ahead of everything else.
“When we take that field, we play for Christ. We give him all the glory,” Foles shared in 2013. “Jesus Christ is the greatest person ever to walk the face of the earth. He’s God.”
“My relationship with Christ needs to be at its best,” Keenum said to Houston Baptist in 2014. “The Bible is God’s game plan. Our true life coach has given us a game plan to follow. He gives us strength so we can glorify Him.”
When you watch the NFC Championship game on Sunday, watch closely to the way Foles and Keenum carry themselves on the field as leaders and then remember that they have placed their trust in Jesus Christ and know that God sent his son to die on a cross for us. He paid the price that we deserve, so that we can spend eternity in heaven with the creator. That’s the ultimate prize, the ultimate trophy and something worth cheering and celebrating about.
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16 (NLT)