Much of the talk after the Cardinals' improbable 21-17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday has been about the quarterback position and what is now a bona-fide QB controversy.
Or is it?
Quarterback A has completed 56.8 percent of his passes for an average of 7.5 yards per attempt, has a 1:1 touchdown to interception ratio and has been sacked an average of 3.4 times per game. His QB rating stands at a solid 77.8.
Quarterback B has completed 54.7 percent of his passes for an average of 7.2 yards per attempt, has a 2:1 touchdown to interception ratio and has been sacked an average of 3.5 times per game. His QB rating is 84.1.
Quarterback A is Kevin Kolb, and it's worth noting that the only thing he did to earn the starting QB job is get traded for and sign a contract extension. Nothing he's done on the field makes him seem like a better option than Quarterback B, John Skelton, which is why the second-year pro should be the starter going forward.
It's not that Skelton is Tom Brady circa 2001. He's done a solid job the last two games - both wins - but is hardly the reason for the victories. Skelton has played a significant role, and that is something no one can ignore. At least, they shouldn't. The Cardinals shouldn't.
Most pointed to the defense and special teams as why the Cardinals beat the Rams a week ago, and they were right. The QB didn't mess things up, but he was hardly brilliant. He wasn't brilliant in Philadelphia on Sunday throwing a pair of really bad interceptions, but he was resilient in leading touchdown drives after each turnover. He was clutch, leading scoring drives of 84, 89 and 87 yards, including some ridiculous throws on the game-winner. He was the first Cardinals QB to win away from Glendale since September of 2010, and is now responsible for four of the team's eight wins in the post-Kurt Warner era.
Why ignore that?
The common theme for most seems to be the Cardinals made a hefty investment in Kolb and would be foolish to bail on him now. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, a second round pick and a big contract extension was the price to bring the QB to Arizona, and the Cardinals owe it to themselves to try and make it work.
Well, the trade happened and it's not getting reversed. Why let one mistake lead to more? I believe the term is "sunk cost," and the team should not worry about the past, rather it should focus on the future.
If the Cardinals made a mistake with the Kolb trade they would do themselves a favor to try to move on as soon as possible. Of course, it is too early to say the trade was a failure, and it's premature to say Kolb will never become the QB the Cards thought he would. The move to go with Skelton isn't as much about Kolb as it is the Fordham product's future.
Skelton is 6-foot-6, 244 pounds, has a canon for an arm and has shown great improvement from his rookie year. He has great poise and, dare I say, moxie, as he's led a pair of fourth-quarter comebacks in his career (Kolb has zero). Skelton has looked every bit as promising as any young QB the Cards have had, and at 23 with just six starts to his name one can assume there is plenty of room for him to learn and improve. That learning can happen this season, and he deserves the opportunity.
Think about it: The Cardinals are not making the playoffs, so this is the perfect time to get a young QB some much- needed reps. While the argument can be made that Kolb needs them - and he could use the experience - one can't really say he deserves them. Skelton does, and would benefit just as much as the 27-year-old rookie will.
The Arizona Cardinals are no longer in the "Suck For Luck" sweepstakes, and they may have swung and missed on the Kevin Kolb trade. Fortunately for them, the team's next QB may already be on the roster, already winning games. Is John Skelton a finished product? Hardly. But the tools are there with which to work with, and in time the Cards may have something special on their hands.
They could start that process by putting the team in Skelton's.