Case Keenum is the starting quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams, beating out Sean Mannion and rookie first overall pick Jared Goff. The Rams moved up in the NFL Draft to take Goff and gave up a slew of draft picks in the process.
But Goff didn't progress fast enough to earn the starting role. He doesn't yet have the confidence of head coach Jeff Fisher — so much so that Mannion is the official backup and punter Johnny Hekker will serve as the emergency quarterback in Monday's season opener against the San Francisco 49ers.
Goff will be in street clothes on the sidelines, as the Rams aren't willing to make three quarterbacks active for the game.
Keenum's counterpart in San Francisco will be Blaine Gabbert, who, by not completely imploding in the preseason, earned the starting role over a mostly passive Colin Kaepernick. Gabbert will likely have a long leash for the first half of the season, though Chip Kelly will surely feel better about him if he can put the Rams in an early 0-1 hole for their season.
Defensively, the 49ers seem better balanced, but the Rams have a strong defensive line and if they can disrupt San Francisco's new-look offensive line, Monday's game could be a big one. It's set to be the second game of a doubleheader on Monday Night Football, following a matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington.
Experts over at CBS Sports couldn't come to a unanimous agreement on Monday's game, but five of the eight making picks this week think the Rams will win. That leaves three siding with the 49ers. There were three writers at ESPN also going with the 49ers, while six think the Rams will take the win.
|Game||RVB||Stephen White||Thomas George||Jeanna Thomas||Adam Stites||Tyler Tynes||Louis Bien||Joel Thorman||Fooch||OddsShark computer|
|LAR vs SF||SF||LAR||LAR||SF||LAR||LAR||LAR||LAR||SF||SF|
Six of our panelists picked the Rams, leaving three, plus the OddsShark computer, picking the 49ers to win Monday's game.
Monday's game will begin at 10:20 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ESPN. A live stream will be available via WatchESPN, though it will require logging in with a cable or satellite television provider.