ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Case Keenum doesn’t have to be a better quarterback than Jared Goff.
He just has to be better than Goff in the snow and cold on Sunday.
While Goff, quarterback of the high-powered Los Angeles Rams’ offense, is a Californian through and through, Keenum practiced with the Broncos amid the rain, snow and chill Wednesday. (It warmed up slightly Thursday.)
“It was awesome today,’’ Keenum said Wednesday. “It was fun, it started out like a wintery mix? Is that what you call that? The big flurry? But it didn’t stick, which is not what I’m used to. I’m used to trying to drive through it and shovel through it, but I’m down for whatever. It makes for good pictures.”
It’s supposed to snow through the first half Sunday of the Broncos-Rams game at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. As a general rule, inclement weather neutralizes a superior opponent – which five weeks into the season everyone would conclude is the 5-0 Rams, and not the 2-3 Broncos.
Truth is, regardless of weather, the Wade Phillips-coached Rams’ defense is becoming overrated. It has star players in Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh, Michael Brockers, Marcus Peters and Lamarcus Joyner. But after shutting out the Arizona Cardinals with quarterback Sam Bradford in week 2, the Rams have allowed 23, 31 and 31 points in their next three games.
Not that Keenum, a former Ram, looks at the L.A. defense that way.
“D-line is stout and there’s first rounders all over it,’’ Keenum said. “We know that we’ve got our work cut out for us just getting the ball off. We’ve played these guys, I know these guys, I’ve played with these guys. I know that they’re talented, disruptive and explosive, and they can do that on any play. We have to go in there and play a clean game. I have to make sure I get the ball out on time, know where the ball needs to go and play a good, clean game.”
In his first year as the No. 1 quarterback for a franchise, Keenum is off to an uneven start. He ranks 30th in passing efficiency with a 78.1 rating, primarily because he’s tied for second with 7 interceptions thrown. He has been at his best in the fourth quarter, however, when he has posted a 94.4 rating.
Goff ranks No. 2 in the league overall with a 119.7 rating and is first with 1,727 passing yards. Goff, though, grew up in the Bay Area, played his college ball at Cal and is in his third season in Southern California after he became the Rams’ No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.
We’ll see how good he is in the cold and snow on Sunday.