Eagles Preseason Analysis: Tim Tebow vs Matt Barkley, Round III


The third pre-season game really is like a dress rehearsal for the regular season. If tonight was any indication, Sam Bradford is going to have a tremendous season, and the Eagles are going to be an elite team.

With Bradford playing the entire first quarter and Mark Sanchez getting a chance to play for the rest of the first half, the storyline of who will win the third string quarterback spot — Tim Tebow or Matt Barkley — was less of a debate in the third pre-season game.

Nonetheless, the two both played and therefore got chances to be evaluated in tonight’s game. Here’s a look at my in-game notes on the two.

Tim Tebow

Aug 29, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Tim Tebow (11) warms up before game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Two-Point Conversion Attempts

  • The Eagles scored early and often with Bradford in the game. On their first two scores, Tebow got a chance to lead the team on two-point conversion attempts. On the first attempt, Kelly had him run straight up the middle and he was stuffed. On the second he made an extremely poor throw that was picked off.
  • I’m interested to find out if Chip Kelly was using Tebow on two-point attempts to see if he is worth keeping for that or just getting him ready because he plans to use him in that situation regardless of tonight’s lack of performance.

First Drive

  • Tebow, following two runs, completed a pass to Rasheed Bailey. It was an extremely poor throw, but Bailey cleaned it up.
  • Mostert was handed the ball by Tebow on read-option, though he fumbled it because he didn’t seem to be expecting it. Tebow was able to recover the fumble.
  • Tebow dumped off a screen to Mostert on the third-down play, but it didn’t lead to a first-down.

Second Drive

  • Tebow was able to get a first-down on his second drive, on a short, powerful run.
  • The rest of the drive really was about running down the clock, giving Tebow little chance to show much of anything.

Matt Barkley

Aug 29, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Matt Barkley (2) warms up before game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

First Drive

  • Barkley got the first shot at actually playing quarterback, opening up the third quarter.
  • Barkley looked through his progressions well on his first pass, and hit Raheem Mostert coming out of the backfield rather than forcing a pass downfield.
  • Barkley was nearly picked at the end of the first drive, as the Eagles went three-and-out.

Second Drive

  • The Eagles did little to help Barkley on the second drive. They dropped the first two passes he threw, both of which probably could have been caught. On the third down play, Barkley stepped up well in the pocket but nothing opened up and he took a sack.
  • The drive did end as the second consecutive three-and-out.

Third Drive

  • The third drive looked as through it could have been another three-and-out, but Barkley stepped up on third down and made a nice pass.
  • After that, he hit former quarterback G.J. Kinne on consecutive plays.
  • Unfortunately for Barkley, he went deep for Mostert on the third-down play after those two completions and wasn’t able to connect.


  • Tonight really wasn’t about deciding this battle. That will come down to Thursday night’s pre-season finale.
  • It was interesting how much more of a showcase Barkley got than Tebow tonight, perhaps a sign Kelly has already made a decision on who will be the third string guy. It’s possible he’s given up on Tebow, but seems more likely to me that he’s trying to trade Barkley and viewed tonight as an audition.
  • I wouldn’t think twice about keeping Barkley over Tebow at this point, but I would be shocked if that actually ends up happening.

Next: Scouting Sam Bradford: Eagles' QB Kills it Against Packers

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