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Matt Barkley Shows He Isn't Ready to Be Starting Quarterback in NFL

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 27:   Matt Barkley #2 of the Philadelphia Eagles throws an interception in the final seconds of a 15-7 loss to the New York Giants during their game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 27, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IIDecember 26, 2016

After the 2011 season at USC, it looked like Matt Barkley was ready to be a first-round pick in the NFL draft and take over a franchise as its new starting quarterback.

What a difference a year and a half makes.

After being forced to play in the last two games for the Philadelphia Eagles, Barkley has officially shown that he's just not ready to be a starting quarterback in the NFL.

Michael Vick decided to give it a shot and play against the New York Giants in Week 8 with an injured hamstring, but he re-aggravated the injury.  With Nick Foles inactive for the game, that meant that Barkley had to go in.

Starting his first drive with just over two minutes remaining in the second quarter, Barkley started driving down the field.  In fact, he got the Eagles all the way to the 2-yard line before doing this and giving up the ball on 1st-and-goal.

The NFL on ESPN Twitter account pointed out that all of Barkley's first four career drives ended with turnovers.

Barkley was able to drive down the field a couple of times, but he was unable to help the Eagles score.  He finished with 158 yards and a last-minute interception, going 17-for-26 through the air.  He wasn't much better in the previous week against the Dallas Cowboys, throwing for just 129 yard and three interceptions in relief of Foles.

With two straight bad games, it's safe to assume that Barkley just isn't ready to be an NFL quarterback.

That's not saying that it's already time to write off Barkley for good.  It takes time to develop as a quarterback in the NFL, especially in an offense that's as complicated as the one the Eagles have under new head coach Chip Kelly.

It's also unfair to expect so much from a fourth-round draft choice that's also the third-string quarterback.  The rest of the team needs to step up too, and you can't put that much of the blame on Barkley (who has played in two games) for a 3-5 start.

However, Barkley still needs time before he can confidently go out on the field and play at a high level.  Coming out of college, his biggest weaknesses were his arm strength and his ability to step into throws and stay poised under pressure.  As a rookie quarterback, Barkley can work on these things, but only if he's given time to develop.

Barkley isn't going to fit into Kelly's scheme, especially in 2013.  If the Eagles want someone to start under center and win them games, then they're going to have to look elsewhere this year and cross their fingers that Vick and/or Foles can return to action.

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