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Arizona Cardinals

Updated Nov 21, 2012 - 1:47 pm

ESPN analyst: Cardinals provided 'worst QB tandem performance'

Arizona Cardinals quarterback John Skelton (19) works as Atlanta Falcons defensive end John Abraham (55) pursues during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski told Arizona Sports 620's Burns and Gambo the combination of John Skelton and Ryan Lindley provided "arguably maybe the worst quarterback tandem performance" he's seen in a long time.

Anyone want to argue?

The passers combined to complete just 11-of-27 passes for 70 yards -- though the team gained just 41 net yards through the passing game due to three sacks. The Cardinals ended up losing to the Atlanta Falcons despite the defense coming up with six turnovers.

It was Arizona's sixth-straight defeat, and with the season seemingly spinning out of control the topic of conversation has been Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt's decision to pull Skelton from the game in the first quarter.

Skelton, who had completed just 2-of-7 passes, was inaccurate, and missing a wide-open Larry Fitzgerald on what should have been a touchdown pass was likely the final straw.

"You just don't make that decision after seven passes," Jaworski said. "That decision was made on the complete body of work of John Skelton. How he's done this season, last season, training camp, mini camps, his complete body of work.

"So there had to be something that really bothered Ken Whisenhunt about John Skelton's game."

As Jaworski noted, Skelton's game -- and that of Lindley, too -- seemed to dampen the spirit of Arizona's receivers in a noticeable way.

"It was the body language of a lot of the receivers," Jaworski said. "There were guys open, the ball just wasn't getting there on time. There were bad decisions made. Lindley came in, he was seeing ghosts, he was throwing right into coverage.

"It was not a good performance either."

That's not to say Jaworski thinks there is no hope for Lindley. The analyst believes he has potential to be a very good player in the NFL.

"Clearly against Atlanta you could see he's got athletic ability, he can throw the football, he's got a quick release, there's a lot of juice on the football, he can rotate it," he said. "He's not there yet, it takes time to develop."

The team's continued struggles at the quarterback position are a concern, as there are six games left in the regular season and the Cardinals, technically, are still in the playoff race. Whisenhunt named Lindley the starter late Wednesday, and earlier in the day Jaworski said the rookie should get the nod.

"I think right now we've got to find out what Ryan Lindley can do," he said. "I'm not sure what Kevin [Kolb's] situation is right now health-wise, but Skelton didn't get the job done."


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