Kevin Kolb: Cardinals Don't Need Injured QB to Stay in NFC West Race

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIOctober 16, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 14:  Kevin Kolb #4 of the Arizona Cardinals is escorted off the field by the Cardinals training staff after getting hurt late in the game against the Buffalo Bills at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 14, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Norm Hall/Getty Images

Kevin Kolb suffered a chest injury, but the Cardinals will be fine if he misses time.

Kevin Kolb and John Skelton are interchangeable. Both men have their strengths and weaknesses, but neither sways the Arizona Cardinals' chances of winning and losing. Since the beginning of the 2011 season both men have generated seven wins as QB.

Skelton has fewer losses, but the bulk of Kolb's starts in 2011 came before the team really found itself on the defensive side of the ball. Since Week 9 of the 2011 season, the Cardinals have only allowed 20 or more points five times.

The team's identity has officially switched to a run-dominant and defensive-minded group. Though they have one of the NFL's best wide receivers in Larry Fitzgerald, the best role for Cardinals signal-callers is as a game manager.

When Arizona is at its best, it is getting solid production on the ground, and the pass attempts are at a low to moderate level. The team is only 4-3 in the last two seasons when it throws the ball 40 times or more.

Kolb does have a higher QB rating than Skelton, but Skelton proved in 2011 that he could be reliable in relief. Last season Skelton took over as starter in Week 6, and he guided the Cardinals to a 6-2 finish to the season.

With Skelton it may not be pretty, but he gets results.

Neither of these quarterbacks is a standout performer, and this is definitely a position with room for improvement if the Cardinals plan to take the next step.

However, as the team is currently constructed, Skelton still gives them a shot at competing in the NFC West. The San Francisco 49ers haven't been able to pull away from the pack, and if the Seattle Seahawks continue to improve they'll keep pace with the Niners.

If the Cardinals are to stay in their midst, the most important factor is sustaining a running game. They have had multiple injuries to running backs, but William Powell and LaRod Stephens-Howling combined for 92 yards in Week 6 vs. the Buffalo Bills

It came in a losing effort, but it wasn't because of poor quarterback or running back play. They lost this game because Jay Feely blew a 38-yard field-goal attempt at the end of regulation. The Cardinals should have won, but Skelton proved he could move the team into a position to win by hitting Fitzgerald for a key 28-yard completion.

Though their styles are a little different, Kolb or Skelton still provide the Cardinals a chance to compete for the division title.


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