Matt Barkley (QB, USC) vs Colorado game tape

More thoughts and a breakdown on this performance tomorrow. For now here’s the tape courtesy of JMPasq.


  1. Colin

    Today’s game against Dallas only magnifies the need for a QB. 162 yards rushing and only 13 points.

  2. Cody

    Wow. He is a pretty good quarterback. Some of those deep passes were perfect. Unfortunate some of his receivers decided to drop some easy passes. Oh, and pump fake = win

  3. Jay

    Who in the NFL would you compare Barkley’s ceiling to be? According to different people his arm strength varies from average to excellent, how strong is his arm exactly? IS he capable of improving on that?

    • Rob

      His arm strength is passable – nothing like elite but certainly it’s more than good enough to make ‘all the throws’ as they say and stretch a team when needed. Can he improve on it? Sure – but you run the risk of a QB becoming too muscular, something that hurt Brady Quinn in the end. Barkley really should keep is weight as it is now.

      I’d say his ceiling is around that of Matt Ryan’s – maybe slightly higher because I think he’s a better technician. He’s never going to blow a team away in the NFL with incredible successive big plays, he’s not Big Ben or Michael Vick. However, neither is Aaron Rodgers and he’s slowly become the best player in the NFL. Barkley will start off controlling an offense, dictating it’s progress. Can he develop into a big-time playmaker? Sure, but that will come with experience.

  4. Tom

    I looked over the tape and looked for plays when Barkley went downfield and specifically, down the seam, where he doesn’t often go. His bread and butter are the bubble screen, the slant, the roll out fade and then checkdown.

    Of 39 pass attempts this is what I noticed.

    :06 – First pass of the game deep left to Woods was overthrown.

    :25 – Rolled out right and threw a nice ball to Woods near the sidelines. One of my faves.

    :37 – Nice pump fake and throw deep right to Lee for the TD. Showed nice touch.

    2:49 – Deep left to Woods but couldn’t split the defenders on an overthrow and incomplete.

    3:00 – Deep left to Woods again was overthrown.

    3:23 – Finally goes down the middle and ball should’ve been picked as it was in triple coverage. CU player fell on his head and was injured on the play.

    4:25 – Nice look off to Woods and back to Lee who dropped the easy Td. Lofted a bit much and Lee slowed slightly.

    4:54 Lee TD on another lofted touch pass.

    6:00 Deep Middle pass was overthrown.

    6:35 One of the better stick throws for a 1st down to Lee.

    6:58 Deep TD pass to Woods on an improvised play.Nice job. Lofted pass that Woods had to hold up for. Replay at 7:20

    7:35 Deep right with some mustard but went over Lee’s head and out of bounds.

    I’m nit picking but of 39 passes, I saw 2 that Barkley fired in there. At :25 on the rollout to Woods and at 6:35 to Lee. Barkley has excellent touch with the fades as demonstrated on the TD pass to Lee at :37.

    When Barkley tried to drive the ball down the seam or between defenders, I did not see much success (look at the incompletions) and you’re going to need to make those throws to be more than a game managing point guard QB in the NFL that relies on a run game and defense to win games.

    That is my concern and it’s nit picking but most everything Barkley completes is deep fades left or right, bubble screens left or right, some short slants and checkdowns in the middle.

    There is a lack of middle of the field and anticipatory tight window stick throws that were exemplified in Sunday and Monday nights games from Ben, Flacco, Vick and Cutler. I realize those 4 have better arms than Barkley but they found ways to go down the seam, over the Lb and in between the cb and safety on numerous occasions to sustain drives and keep the defenses honest.

    I like Barkley but considering his receiving weapons and Pac 12 secondaries he’s going up against, I expect more from a top 3 QB prospect and reason I don’t have Barkley love, just like.

  5. Tom

    One more nit pick that I noticed at the play at :53.

    Barkley is in the pocket with no pressure, you can see he’s looking at the slot receiver on the left who could be Lee to make his break.

    Pause at :55. The CU defender is falling down and Lee is making his break to the center of the field and is wide open for a 1st down and running room.

    Pause at :56. Barkley with no pressure decides to check down to Tellfar who comes up 4 yds short of the 1st down.

    You can clearly see Barkley looking at Lee and should throw one of those anticipatory coming out of his break throws to hit his receiver in stride for a big gainer. Barkley didn’t do it and checked it down.

    Barkley just doesn’t show a mastery of the middle of the field.

  6. Tom

    Was looking forward to your breakdown, Rob. I believe I’m being objective because I like Barkley. Your thoughts? Thanks!

  7. Tom

    No Barkley evaluation? I guess you’re too busy with other endeavors, Rob.

    Enjoy your weekend and hopefully, you’ll get more weekend tape on Luck, Barkley & RG3 for everyone to evaluate next week.

    • Rob

      Got a bit tied up this week and when the RG3 tape became available it led me down a different avenue. In fairness, I’ve done a lot of Barkley articles so far (archives has it all – check the menu bar). I’ll do the Barkley write up this weekend – probably Saturday. Tonight I’ve done a piece on RG3’s tape.

  8. Tom

    I look forward to your evaluation. It helps me in determining if I’m evaluating properly or what to look for.

    The tape looked like it was recorded from a blimp and don’t believe it was close to the best RG3 game I’ve witnessed as he seemed to be a bit off on his accuracy. I do remember one play that really stood out and it was that roll out to the right and RG3 fired as pretty a TD pass as you’ll see anywhere on the run with some mustard with 3 Tigers closing on the receiver. There may have been a crossing route with accuracy but otherwise, it looked like the point guard QB that you often speak of.

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