Matt Barkley, Bills starting quarterback? Is that a real thing that could happen?
Apparently so. Vic Carucci laid out the reasons why in an article Friday. They include:
• Barkley’s work with the first team in practice.
None of those mention that opening-day starter Nathan Peterman is healthy, but check out this quote from LeSean McCoy:
“He’s a smart kid, he’s intelligent,” McCoy said. “He’ll have a tough time (Sunday), because they’re a good defense and it’s a fresh start. But I don’t think it’s nothing that he can’t handle. We’ll support him and we’ll be behind him, so I’m sure he’ll have a good game. It’ll be a tough matchup, it’s a good defense.”
Neither McDermott nor Barkely gave any indication that this week’s starter has been confirmed, but McCoy’s quote certainly seems to indicate otherwise. Barkley was signed last week. He last played in an NFL game on Jan. 1, 2017 – the same day as Colin Kaepernick’s last NFL game – though Barkley has spent time with other teams since.
Vic Carucci’s Take Five: How much worse can the offense get with Barkley at QB? It’s a fair question. The analytical website Football Outsiders wrote this week that the Bills’ offense is the worst they have ever tracked in 33 years of grading.
Predictions for Bills-Jets: None of the five staff members polled picked the Bills to win, and that was before it seemed Barkley could start. The View from Vegas said the Jets aren’t good enough to lay a TD (the spread is 7 points), but I agree with Mark Gaughan: Turning to Josh McCown might actually increase the Jets’ odds of winning.
LeSean McCoy frustrated with Bills’ season, but “you can’t pout about it”: McCoy ended his media blackout Friday and said he wasn’t upset about not being traded to the Eagles at the deadline. “I had a lot of value and a lot of teams wanted me,” he claimed.
X’s and O’s: Gaughan wrote that analytics say teams should throw more on second-and-10. Few things feel more frustrating that a handoff after an incomplete pass on first down. The Bills actually don’t appear to be doing that at an excessive rate this season, but they haven’t had much success with it.
Play to Watch: The Jets like to bring blitzes, and they’re unique for bringing them through the interior, Gaughan wrote.
One-on-One Coverage: WNY’s Ron Jaworski, the former QB now known for his work as an analyst on ESPN, said he is “disappointed” he never got to play for his hometown Bills.
Defense first? Run well? There’s more to Sean McDermott’s philosophy, Jay Skurski wrote. The article also contains an interesting quote from ESPN analyst Louis Riddick on Josh Allen: “When it’s clean and he’s operating from the pocket, his mechanics are right and he’s just throwing the football instinctively, it looks as good as it gets,” Riddick said. “… But the game still, you can tell, moves very fast for him in his mind. It has to be clean for him. He is not a guy who’s going to be able to process a lot of information as of yet, and he doesn’t have a whole lot of guys on the perimeter that can really help him in terms of being consistent one-on-one winners on the outside.”
Week 10 power rankings: Well, the Bills aren’t last. (Thanks, Gruden.)
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