Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback Michael Vick is questionable for this week’s contest at Oakland and will most likely not suit up as reported by ESPN.com. Vick reinjured his hamstring during Sunday’s game against the New York Giants and he said he felt it “pop” as he went down. With backup Nick Foles inactive from suffering a concussion during the previous week, it is likely the Raiders defense will have its sights on third-string quarterback Matt Barkley.
The former USC standout didn’t play well subbing in for Vick, but he wasn’t god-awful. He did as well as one could expect from a third-string rookie who hasn’t played any meaningful snaps since college. He completed 17 of 26 passes for 158 yards and one interception. However, he was sacked three times and gave up one fumble. The Giants defense swarmed Barkley and his best efforts could not muster up any offensive points for the Eagles.
This news must have Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver and his defense licking their chops. Tarver’s defense was stellar against a Pittsburgh Steelers offense that was riding high on a two-game winning streak. Oakland’s defense crowded Ben Roethlisberger during the entire game, sacking the quarterback five times and getting two interceptions in the process.
Though the Steelers are in a slump, Roethlisberger is still one of the most accomplished quarterbacks currently in the NFL. Also keep in mind, while it was a great win for the Raiders, Roethlisberger was possibly one deep throw away from completing a miraculous comeback after a 21-3 halftime deficit. If the Raiders defense could shut down a two-time Super Bowl winner for a half and then prevent him from stealing the win away, then just imagine what it would do against a young and inexperienced quarterback.
Oakland offense is exciting at times e.g. Terrelle Pryor’s record-breaking 93-yard run at the very beginning of the first quarter. However, it is the defense that has performed beyond expectations. It was the defense that ultimately won against Pittsburgh. Vick is all but out for Sunday’s contest. Nonetheless, Tarver should keep the dial up and aim to get his defense in the Eagles’ backfield often no matter who starts at quarterback for Philadelphia.