The Eagles close out the preseason with a fourth and final game against the New York Jets ...
Matt Barkley hadn't started a game since his senior season at USC in 2012. He liked the feeling on Thursday night. Playing into the fourth quarter, Barkley completed 21 of 33 passes for 253 yards, one touchdown, one interception and one rushing touchdown in the Eagles' 37-7 victory over the Jets at Lincoln Financial Field.
"It was a great feeling, a comfortable one," said Barkley, a fourth-round draft pick in 2013. "I prepared as the starter and it helped me out a lot getting my work in with the guys and getting some timing down. I felt good out there."
He looked good, too. Barkley made an early mistake, throwing an end-zone interception to end the Eagles' second drive when he tried to hit wide receiver Quron Pratt on an "in" route but didn't throw it into a tight window. He shook that off and got into a groove in his first extended playing time as an Eagle.
"That was just one play and you have to move past it," said Barkley. "That's the approach I had. We were moving the ball and I had to get the ball to our playmakers."
On the possession after the interception, Barkley found wide receiver Arrelious Benn behind the defense down the right sideline for a 43-yard touchdown to open the scoring. He led drives of 74 yards (touchdown pass to Benn), 43 yards (Cody Parkey field goal) and 50 yards (Parkey field goal) to give the Eagles a 13-0 lead at the half, put together a 10-play, 50-yard drive to lead to another three points and then engineered a 15-play, 80-yard (90 with a 10-yard penalty) drive that ended as Barkley scampered 7 yards untouched for a score.
His night over, Barkley reflected on his outing.
"The guys around me did a great job and made it easy for me. It was a lot of fun being out there and settling down," said Barkley, who played in three regular-season games as a rookie. He was thrown into mid-game duty against Dallas (three interceptions) and the Giants (one interception) without a lot of success. "If I'm called on this season, I'll be ready to help the team win."