Remember when Matt Barkley was a football darling? Yes, it’s been a while. But however briefly, a smash sack by Joey Bosa made the Buffalo backup a Sunday social media topic.
The impact of Bosa on Barkley lit up Twitter when Bosa sacked Barkley on the quarterback’s lone snap. Bosa, the star defensive end for the Los Angeles Chargers, sacked Barkley in the first half. One fan pondered whether it was a set up, maybe even by his own tem,
A twitter user wrote: “Locker room pranks are tough, but the one that Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills offensive lineman pulled on Matt Barkley was cruel. Fake injury and then “longest yard” him with Joey Bosa…ouch.
If you’re not up on your sports movie history, “Longest Yard” is a comedy from 1974. There was a reboot in 2005. Burt Reynolds starred in the first one, Adam Sandler in the reboot. In a nutshell, it’s about a former star player, who is in prison. He quarterbacks a team of inmates against the guards. Cue prison hijinks.
Matt Barkley Was a Star for USC
But back to the football field.
Barkley was a star quarterback for the USC Trojans. A long time ago, NFL analysts projected Barkley as a potential No. 1 of the entire draft. Instead, he was a fourth-rounder in 2013. Barkley now is an NFL journeyman, literally and figuratively. Buffalo is his seventh team.
Josh Allen is Buffalo’s starter. And in an interesting twist, rookie Jake Fromm is their quarantine quarterback. The NFL is hyper-aware of quarterback depth after the Denver Broncos lost all their eligible quarterbacks for Sunday because of Covid-19 contact tracing.
ESPN analyst Chris Mortensen tweeted:
“What @Bills have done with rookie QB Jake Fromm isn’t technically a ‘quarantine’ but more isolated. He’s involved in meetings but never on practice field w regular roster. He goes out for a 20-25 minute post-practice workout with a couple of select practice squad players.”
So far, Barkley isn’t considered a very good backup. The analytic site Pro Football Focus ranked Barkley as the 23rd best backup in the league.
But, there’s no shame in getting sacked by Bosa. He’s one of the best pass rushers in the league. Bosa had three sacks by the third quarter.
So let’s go back to the fan reaction. There was lots of it.
Here’s a sampling.