Nick Foles Must Start for Philadelphia Eagles over Matt Barkley

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistOctober 29, 2013

JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 24:  Nick Foles #9 of the Philadelphia Eagles throws a pass during warmups before a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on August 24, 2013 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Brian Cleary/Getty Images)

Third-string quarterback Matt Barkley played mediocre in relief of Michael Vick last week against the New York Giants, and backup Nick Foles must get the start for the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 9 against the Oakland Raiders as a result.

With Foles cleared to practice after suffering a concussion, per Reuben Frank of CSN Philly, and likely to get the start Sunday, via Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, there is no doubt that the Eagles have a better chance to win right now with the second-year player under center:

Barkley is a rookie who has taken limited snaps since the quarterback competition between Foles and Vick was the focus of the preseason. The former USC star threw an interception and was sacked three times Sunday, but it was the fear he showed at times with his throws that should have the offense looking to start Foles.

While Foles has been far from perfect, he is confident in the pocket.

The second-year backup has played in five games this season and amassed a completion percentage of 57.8. Add in his 622 yards passing, six touchdowns and zero interceptions, and Foles has not hurt the team with his play.

Foles still doesn’t possess the accurate deep pass of Vick, but his football I.Q. helps him make the right decisions in key situations. The same can’t be said for Barkley as he continues to go through the growing pains of his rookie campaign.

Vick is still the best quarterback on the roster, but after re-aggravating his hamstring injury against the Giants and likely missing this week’s game against the Raiders, per Phil Sheridan of, the focus has shifted to which player will step up in his absence.

Foles has a rapport with most of the offensive players from the battle with Vick for the starting job in the preseason, and it will be important that his teammates rally around him to help him have the confidence a starter needs.

With Philadelphia’s offense sputtering and failing over the last two weeks (scored 10 points total), Foles could be the spark the entire team has been searching for. Add in the fact that the NFC East is still a wide-open race, and the backup should have the chance to shine.