The Cardinals quarterback competition is like getting lost in the woods. We’ve come all this way only to find we’ve been walking in a giant circle.
John Skelton (not Jonathon Trent Dilfer) was the night’s biggest letdown. He completed 4-of-10 passes for 41 yards, tossed a pick on an overthrow and has a QB rating of 12.9. The drops were an issue (Heap, Floyd). His protection was a major issue (DJ Jazzy Jeff would have been more effective than DJ Young). It would be easy for me to rationalize Skelton’s performance as not his fault since I had already (in my mind anyway) given him the starter’s job. Maybe we’d look at his night differently if those balls were caught or a switch at left tackle happened sooner.
But let’s be honest. He could have done so much more Thursday night.
Enter Kevin Kolb, who had to know that as the new underdog in this competition he had a chance to win back the hearts and minds of the coaches, players and fans. Here it is, an hour (as I’m writing this) later, and I’m still not sure what to make of Kolb’s night that included:
• 17-for-22, 156 yards, and a QB rating of 73.3
• Two of the worst interceptions a QB fighting for his job could throw, sandwiched around….
• A touchdown drive that went 86 yards and included a 53-yard bomb to Larry Fitzgerald
• Authoring a three and out to start his night that one NFL writer coined “one of the worst possessions ever”
I suspect a lot of stock is going to be put in that top line. A pitcher who gives up a pair of two-run homers can say, well, I only threw two bad pitches all night. Similarly, Kolb and the coaches can say that overall it was a good night for him; he just threw two really awful picks. And since we all know the tie goes to Kolb due to the salary and all they gave up to get him, my guess is he has now pulled back in front.
None of which is actually designed to make you feel better.
I find that I keep going back to a comment Cardinals Play-by-Play man Dave Pasch said on the pregame show before the Hall of Fame game vs. the Saints. It’s not a direct quote so apologies to Dave if I botch it, but I liked it so much I tweeted it out that afternoon:
I want to see something out of Kolb and Skelton to make me feel better about both.
Four preseason games and I’m still waiting. I’m starting to suspect I’ll write the same thing after four regular season games.