Wednesday, October 30, 2013
QB Watch: Eagles' Vick, Barkley, Foles
By Phil Sheridan
A weekly analysis of the Eagles’ quarterback play:
Rewind: The Eagles’ QB Watch has begun to feel like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates. You never know what -- or even who, at this point -- you’re going to get. On Sunday, it was some percentage of Michael Vick, who threw an interception on his second pass before aggravating his injured hamstring. Rookie Matt Barkley replaced Vick late in the second quarter. He marched the Eagles to the Giants' 2-yard line before fumbling the ball away. Barkley completed 17 of 26 passes for 158 yards and one interception. He took three sacks. Most importantly, he wasn’t able to put any points on the board on seven offensive possessions.
Fast-forward: The wheel spins back to Nick Foles, who was cleared via the NFL’s concussion protocol. Foles is very likely to start in Oakland on Sunday. What’s less certain is whether he’ll be the Foles who was named NFC offensive player of the week for lighting up Tampa Bay three weeks earlier or the one who dropped a stinkbomb in three quarters of play against Dallas a week later. Bottom line: Three quarterbacks produced zero touchdowns in the Eagles’ past two games.
Practice makes imperfect: Vick was coming off two weeks of inaction and needed all the first-team practice reps last week. Foles is coming back from a week off due to his concussion and will need to prepare this week. That means precious little practice time for Barkley, who was forced to play two weeks in a row. Barkley said Tuesday that he has never practiced the red zone play on which he fumbled against the Giants. That’s a tough situation for a rookie quarterback.
Prediction: Foles will start. If he also finishes, the Eagles will have a pretty good chance to get back in the win column against the Raiders. Oakland has a middle-of-the-pack pass defense and allows opposing passers to execute with a 93.6 rating. If Foles plays anything like he normally does, he should be able to have a solid performance Sunday. If he plays as he did against Dallas, Barkley could wind up finishing a game based on production rather than injury.