QB Watch: Eagles' Foles, Vick, Barkley
October, 23, 2013
By Phil Sheridan | ESPN.com
A weekly examination of the Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback play.
Rewind: Nick Foles just never looked like himself in Sunday’s 17-3 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. From the first series, on which he took a couple of hits, until he was knocked out of the game with a concussion at the end of the third quarter, Foles appeared indecisive, inaccurate and uncertain of himself. Foles completed 11 of 29 passes for just 80 yards. A week after winning NFC offensive player of the week for his effort against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Foles had a passer rating of just 46.2. Even last season, when he was a rookie playing with an injury-ravaged offense, Foles never looked quite this off-kilter.
Fast-forward: Michael Vick, the once and future No. 1 quarterback, is expected to play Sunday against the New York Giants. Vick pulled a hamstring three weeks ago against the very same Giants. There is no way for anyone, including Vick, to know if he will be the same threat to run the ball as he was at MetLife Stadium, when he had 79 yards on seven carries in just less than a half of action. It would be premature to hail Vick as a savior, though. He completed just six of 14 passes for 105 yards against the Giants' defense in that game. Vick and coach Chip Kelly will have to find ways to get the passing game back on track.
The third man: With Vick in street clothes and Foles concussed Sunday, rookie quarterback Matt Barkley saw his first NFL action against the Cowboys. It was unforgettable, although Barkley probably wishes that weren’t the case. He completed 11 of 20 passes for 129 yards -- not bad for one quarter of play -- but all three of his drives ended with an interception. If Vick reinjures his hamstring, either in practice or during the game, Barkley would be the guy.
Prediction: Before Vick was injured, he and the Eagles offense were trending sharply downward. They scored 16 against Kansas City, 20 in a blowout loss in Denver and were struggling to move the ball against the Giants. The Giants' defense is healthier than it was three weeks ago, so it is likely that downward trend will continue Sunday, especially if Vick isn’t able to shift into overdrive because of that hamstring.