The Arizona Cardinals were embarrassed on Thursday Night Football by the rival St. Louis Rams in large part thanks to the mediocre play of starting quarterback Kevin Kolb, but that does not mean the Cardinals should turn to backup John Skelton—yet.
The Cardinals lost 17-3 in St. Louis while Kolb took a beating, getting sacked nine times. Needless to say, Kolb did not have a lot of time all night to orchestrate an effective offense.
Skelton has finally recovered from an ankle injury that has plagued him early this season, but the coaching staff decided to leave him as the backup.
Here's why that trend should continue despite the loss to the Rams.
Porous Offensive Line
The offensive line in Arizona is a joke, and both quarterbacks have suffered as a result. Kolb was abused all night on the way to the aforementioned nine sacks, and the horrible play is the reason for Skelton's early-season injury.
Right now any quarterback would struggle with the offensive line in place, so it makes sense to stick with the starter who has had more experience and reps with the current offense.
Until the offensive line is fixed in Arizona, either quarterback will have issues being effective, and more importantly, staying healthy.
Throwing Skelton in at this point will likely only result in another injury, which would result in yet another disruption of chemistry and flow to the offense.
Kolb is a six-year veteran in the NFL compared to Skelton's three years. He has never started a full season, but neither has Skelton at this point.
Arizona broke the bank to bring Kolb to the desert, and giving up on him now after getting to learn from a quarterback guru like Andy Reid would be a big mistake.
So far this season, Kolb has shown flashes of brilliance and at worst has been a game manager. Kolb has thrown for 1,041 yards to go with his seven touchdowns and two interceptions. Had he been playing behind an effective offensive line, his numbers would be even better.
Skelton, on the other hand, has a career passer rating of 65.8 and has only appeared in a total of 14 games. Before leaving the first game of the season he had 149 yards passing and an interception.
Experience is the way to go despite a bad game from Kolb.
As long as Kolb is healthy, there is no reason to go back to Skelton. The Cardinals have bigger issues the front office needs to worry about.
The loss in St. Louis was Kob's first of any real struggles this season and it seems as if people have already forgotten he led them to a previously undefeated record and a win over the New England Patriots.
One bad game for Kolb should not result in his benching as much as the fans may clamor for it now that Skelton is healthy.
Kolb has led the Cardinals this far, and as long as he can stay healthy behind a horrible line, Arizona is still playoff-bound.