Arizona Cardinals: 5 Reasons John Skelton Will Reclaim the Starting Job
When John Skelton went down with an ankle injury in the season opener, things looked dire for the Arizona Cardinals.
Then Kevin Kolb did something he's never done before: he stepped up. After leading the Cardinals back in that game, he's since led the team to a 4-1 record.
Now Skelton is on his way back. He'll play backup Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, with a chance to start again come Week 7.
With Kolb playing so well, it leaves one to wonder if Skelton deserves his starting job back.
Of course he does, and here's why.
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At first glance, the differentials aren't that big.
When Kevin Kolb starts, Larry Fitzgerald averages 5.46 catches, 83.15 yards and 0.38 touchdowns per game. When it's John Skelton, Fitz averages 5.62 catches, 89.54 yards and 0.54 touchdowns per game.
But if you delve deeper into the game logs, you'll see that Larry Fitzgerald has more 100-yard games and multi-touchdown games when Skelton is starting than when it's Kolb.
If your offensive catalyst plays better with one quarterback than the other, the choice should become pretty obvious in regards to who you start.
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A big reason Skelton deserves his job back is because he earned it, fair and square.
It was a battle all preseason to see who the starting quarterback would be, and while Kolb made things close, it was eventually decided to be Skelton.
Just because Kolb is playing well that doesn't mean Ken Whisenhunt needs to second-guess himself. He gave Kolb that level of respect last season, where after he returned from injury he was allowed to compete for his job.
Give Skelton that same kind of respect and let him compete to keep his starting gig.
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While Kolb has kept Arizona rolling in 2012, it doesn't change the past. And the past says his 9-11 lifetime record is not the sign of a winner.
It's true, Kolb has much more experience than the unproven Skelton.
But Skelton hasn't been given a chance to really prove what he can do, and he deserves as much. At least his track record, so far, says he does.
He Can Work Outside of the Pocket
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At 6'5" and 244 lbs., Skelton is a very Roethlisberger-ian quarterback. That is to say, he uses his big size to overpower defenders. It makes him a versatile weapon outside of the pocket.
The smaller Kolb—6'3", 218 lbs.—does not have that skill set, making him more of a pocket passer. The problem with this is that Arizona's offensive line has been horrendous this season.
With a shaky o-line, the Cardinals need a quarterback that knows how to roll out of the pocket and still make a big play.
With 179 career rushing yards in three seasons—compared to Kolb's 163 in six—the choice is clearly Skelton.
Kevin Kolb Is Hurt...Again
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Perhaps the biggest reason Skelton deserves his job back is because, as of today, there's no one else for the job.
With a little more than two minutes left in today's game against the Buffalo Bills, Kevin Kolb took a monstrous hit. It's being reported (per CBSsports.com) that he suffered a rib injury, but he did not need help getting off the field.
This marks the second time Kolb has been injured with Arizona, and the second time the Cardinals' starting quarterback has been knocked out of a game this season.
Time to give the reins back to Skelton and let him keep them for the foreseeable future.