The Bears became the latest team to fall victim to the Lions and quarterback Matt Stafford’s penchant for late-game heroics on Sunday, but quarterback Matt Barkley helped make sure they went down swinging.
Barkley moved the team into Lions territory after Stafford put Detroit up 20-17 with a touchdown run in the fourth quarter, but two straight holding penalties and a drop by Josh Bellamy on fourth down ended their hopes of winning or tying the game. Barkley’s effort in the loss left coach John Fox feeling good about the way Barkley has handled the job since stepping in for Jay Cutler.
“The young man has continued to impress me,” Fox said, via the Chicago Sun-Times. “He’s been thrown in on the road in Green Bay. He came in and started with a week’s work and performed well [against the Titans]. The conditions he played in a week ago [against the 49ers], even though it was at home, it was still tough conditions for a quarterback or anybody that handles the ball. And then really to come here on the road against a good football team in a loud environment, I just continue to be impressed by the kid’s performance.”
Barkley isn’t under contract in Chicago beyond this year, but more good play in the final three games should set him up well for a job with the Bears or someone else in 2017. While it seems unlikely that job would come with any guarantees of starting, a No. 2 job and/or a chance to compete for more could be in the cards for Barkley come March.