Thursday night’s preseason game didn’t provide much clarity as to which quarterback will be taking the lead reigns as the starting quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals.
While John Skelton did start, his performance didn’t set him apart as he finished the night 4-of-10 for 31 yards and an interception. Kevin Kolb didin’t have too much of an impact on the offense either as he finished 17-of-22 for 156 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
In the fourth preseason game of the year, quarterback John Skelton started the game with an interception against the Tennessee Titans. Following that shaky start, Skelton didn’t make enough happen to secure his position on the Cardinals quarterback depth chart.
Kolb relieved Skelton midway into the second quarter and had a pick in his second pass of the game, but bounced back with a deep 53-yard pass to Larry Fitzgerald, while extending the play while outside of the pocket.
Kolb had a 7 play, 86-yard scoring drive that was the offensive highlight of the game. His ability to keep the drive alive was critical as they finally converted in the red zone. After the scoring drive down the field, Kolb had another interception that was returned for a touchdown.
Once Kolb started to gell with his team on the field, he had a quick change of momentum with the interception that swung the energy the Titans way.
“I think we found a rhythm but I obviously can’t turn the ball over like I did,” he told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. “The one (interception), no reason to throw back across your body, and the second one I just didn’t see him — the linebacker made a great play on it. But I can’t put my team in that kind of position. Besides that, I thought we moved the ball well those three drives and we found something there with our no-huddle.”
The Cardinals next preseason game will be against the Broncos where both quarterbacks will once again be given the platform to compete for the starting job.
Kolb has a 59.5 completion percentage compared to Skelton’s 56 for the 2012 preseason. Kolb has posted one touchdown and three interceptions compared to Skelton’s one score and two picks.
As their numbers prove, both these quarterbacks have been somewhat mediocre throughout this preseason, neither one of them has set themselves apart.
A quick glimpse into last season isn’t much of a tale as to which quarterback deserves the position as they both were average performers. Kolb started a total of nine games in 2011 and finished the year with a completion percentage of 57.7 and 1,955 passing yards. Kolb threw 9 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, as well as 8 fumbles.
Skelton started seven games in the 2011 season, threw for 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, 1,913 yards, and finished with a completion percentage of 54.9.
Regardless of who wins the job, these quarterbacks may not be the long term solution that Arizona needs.
Kolb has had moments of clarity, like the 53-yard pass he precisely muscled down the field and into franchise player Larry Fitzgeralds hands, but he also is seen as being reckless with ball security. Skelton too hasn’t proven to have great ball management skills thus far and could stand to gain more experience before being named as the leader.