"I say they clean the QB house as soon as the season ends. Thanks for the good and the bad Jay. See ya. Thanks for being a solid backup Brian. Seek your fortunes elsewhere. Mr. Barkley? Practice squad or nothing for you. Maybe try the Arena League for a while?"
That was before Matt Barkley even took a snap, and in all likelihood, he wouldn't.
Since that time he has gotten his first 4 NFL starts. And though the record with him at the helm is 1-3, he is not the problem. Bears receivers dropping TD passes and routinely displaying hands like feet prevented at least 1 more sure win (against Tennessee). And a Bears secondary who possibly couldn't keep my sorry old ass from getting deep on them has looked very much like the collection of rookies and after thoughts they are.
Against Goon Bay, Barkley passed for more yards against the Packers than any other Bears QB. Ever. Let that sink in a bit. The Packers are not a bunch of schmoes. They even picked him off a couple of times (I'm not counting the Hail Mary at the end of the first half). But he kept on plugging. He led the Bears to 17 4th quarter points, tying the historical mark of points scored in the 4th quarter. And he very well could have led to the win in overtime had the Bears defense not decided to give up a 60 yard bomb on 3rd and 11 with time winding down in the game. And he did this with a semi-pro caliber receiving corps to throw to. Even in a loss, Barkley showed the type of character and ability we haven't seen in some time.
I am now officially on the Matt Barkley bandwagon. In his first 4 NFL starts, Barkley has shown a calm, orderly, professional presence. He has made throws that should have won games, but got no support from those the throws went to. He has shown enough mobility to move around in the pocket to make something happen. He has shown enough arm strength to be considered NFL valid.
He isn't the biggest, isn't the fastest, won't be a QB for the read option and does not have a cannon for an arm. But he doesn't need any of that to be successful.
But even with his obvious abilities, the Chicago media hates him. Not that I really care about the Chicago media. Half of them seem to hate Chicago and every team in the city, and the other half don't know a damn thing about the sport they're covering. I am very disappointed in how so many fellow fans don't seem to be willing to give him a shot. Why is it so hard for Bears fans to simply accept quiet competence as an upgrade at the QB position? Searching for things to downgrade Barkley for is self defeating. No, he is not going to compare to Dak Prescott because he isn't even the same type of player. But he is certainly someone who I think has already earned the right to be in Bears training camp next year ready to win the job. Yes, the Bears still need to draft a QB of the future, but they don't need to reach for one with their first round pick.
Of course that all depends if the Bears think as highly of him as I do and actually give him a contract. I think if the Bears let him go to try to catch on elsewhere, he will have more than 1 team willing to overpay for him. And then we'll be able to watch from afar as he goes on to a successful career with a different team while the Bears have another 4 or 6 cycling through the position.
Matt Barkley, Connor Shaw, and a rookie draft pick. That's my choice for the Bears QB corps to start 2017.
Weekly picks -
Last week = 10-6
Season = 129-93-2
Washington Foreskins @ Chicago Bears - Washington is hanging on by their fingernails to a possible playoff chance, but they no longer control their own destiny after shitting the bed against Carolina. So they are going to be desperate. And they have a decent enough QB who can play bomber pilot against the shitty Bears secondary.
For the Bears to win, Barkley needs to just keep doing what he is doing, but the defense HAS to step up. If they show another weak pass rush coupled with letting receivers run free behind the secondary, it will severely weaken any chance they might have.
Earlier in the week, my pick was Washington. But fuck it. I'll take the Bears to finish out their home schedule on a high note.
The rest of my week 16 picks (home team in CAPS) :
PHILADELPHIA over NY Giants
Miami over BUFFALO
San Diego over CLEVELAND
GOON BAY over Minnesota
NEW ENGLAND over NY Jets
Atlanta over CAROLINA
Tennessee over JACKSONVILLE
OAKLAND over Indianapolis
NEW ORLEANS over Tampa Bay
LOS ANGELES over San Francisco
SEATTLE over Arizona
HOUSTON over Cincinnati
PITTSBURGH over Baltimore
KANSAS CITY over Denver
DALLAS over Detroit