No disrespect to Matt Barkley — but Eagles fans want TimTebow.
The two are in the midst of a hotly contested battle to be the Eagles No. 3 quarterback, and Sunday afternoon against the Colts both gave Chip Kelly a lot to think about — both good and bad. And after just about three quarters of audition time, it appears to be advantage Barkley.
“Right now, where I’m at, I feel great that I can lead this team,” Barkley said. “I can score points and move the ball down the field. I feel like we left a little meat on the bone on some of those drives … but I think we did well overall.”
A third year pro out of USC, Barkley didn’t waste any time making his case to remain with the team that drafted him, driving the Eagles down the field late in the first quarter with spectacular connections with both Jordan Matthews (26 yards) and Miles Austin (39 yards) on an early scoring drive.
But a drive later, after two more completions a tipped pass resulted in Barkley’s first blemish, an interception close to the line of scrimmage.
Barkley, all together was 12-for-20 for 192 yards, a solid output and one that had the Eagles up by more than a dozen points.
Tebowtook the field in the third quarter and was greeted with a standing ovation. After hushing the crowd before his first snap, the hungry quarterback completed two big third-down conversions on passes to third string receivers but was unable to turn his first drive into points.
“He’s a fan favorite,” Barkley said. He’s a fan favorite and he played well today for not playing in a year or two or whatever it’s been. It’s pretty funny to see their reaction, he’s loved wherever he goes.
At the start his tenure on the field the Eagles receiving corps did a lot to make him look pretty good, most notably a leaping juggling catch byRasheedBailey. But toward the end of the game, the QB tallied his fair share ofincompletionsand hesitated a bit too long a few times. It seemed as the game lingered on,Tebow’splay got worse and worse.
“There were a couple of those where Timmy held the ball and we were thinking ‘why was he doing that,'” Kelly said. “Well it was because the receiver was supposed to run a shallow cross and he didn’t. … there were a couple mental mistakes whether it was up front or at the receiver spot.”
“I think we did some things decent and there are some things we have to work on,”Tebowsaid. “We have to be consistent.”
His numbers through two and a half quarters of play 6-for-12 for 69 yards (after starting 4-for-5) but he was also sacked three times (all on third down). The third-string offensive line protecting him didn’t give him much time in the backfield but when he rolled out of the pocket late in the fourth quarter he was able to find just enough room to cross the plane of the goal to net a rushing touchdown, ending on a high note in the 36-10 victory.
“I liked how Timmy threw it,” Kelly said. “That was the big concern coming in, has he changed? And he has his feet underneath him. When the receivers ran the right routes and he had an opportunity to throw the football he threw it really well.”
With two seemingly (or at least possibly) potent No. 3 quarterbacks and one roster spot, they could also be auditioning for a possible late-offseason trade