Tennessee Titans Performance
In his first NFL start against the Titans, he had his first full week of preparation as an NFL starter.
His start to the game was rough, as he threw two costly red-zone interceptions, one in the 2nd quarter and the other on the opening drive in the 3rd quarter.
But after the second turnover and a fumbled snap that lead to a punt on the next possession, his play noticeably improved.
Barkley took command and led the Bears on a fourth-quarter comeback. He led the Bears to two consecutive touchdown drives to bring the Bears within 6 points. On the final drive of the game, he brought the Bears to the red zone. Barkley found WR Josh Bellamy in the end zone, but a costly drop cost the Bears the game.
Despite the loss, Barkley led his team on a comeback run and put his team in a position to win.
According to Barkley, the game slowed down for him and he felt more comfortable as he played more snaps. “I was seeing everything easier. . . . I was seeing everything clean. Our guys were getting open and I had all the time in the world, it felt like.”
In addition to seeing more, he started to feel the rhythm of the offense. He said, “even seeing the different looks that we were getting on defense and they started playing off. Just seeing their cuts and when they were getting in and out of breaks. It did grow that second half. One week was more than enough to get that rhythm down.”
Remember, the Bears signed Barkley to the Bears’ practice squad a week before the regular season started. He didn’t have a training camp or preseason with the team. Finding that rhythm with just one week of practice as a starter is impressive.
GM Ryan Pace noted of Barkley’s play, “there are a couple of things that stood out with his performance, especially in the second half once he settled down. First, the moment wasn’t too big for him. He played with calm and confidence. I thought he was extremely accurate down the stretch. He gets the ball out quick. He played with good rhythm and instinct. He battled thru some adversity in this first half with those turnovers, but his performance was solid, especially down the stretch.”