John Skelton: Cardinals Offense Won't Improve with Former Starter Under Center

Ben ChodosCorrespondent IIOctober 16, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 09:  Quarterback John Skelton #19 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts after throwing an interception during the season opener against the Seattle Seahawks at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 9, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Carindals defeated the Seahawks 20-16.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Arizona Cardinals’ quarterback carousel is continuing, but regardless of who is taking snaps, the team’s offense will struggle.

John Skelton began the season as the starter, but he sprained his ankle in the season opener and opened the door for Kevin Kolb. The former Philadelphia Eagle threw a touchdown pass to help Arizona beat the Seattle Seahawks, then led them to three more victories. 

The Cardinals lost their first game of the season in Week 5 against the St. Louis Rams, and this past weekend, the team dropped to 4-2 after falling in overtime to the Buffalo Bills.

Kolb did not make it through the game, and according ESPN’s Adam Schefter, he is “expected to be out several weeks after he had multiple ribs detach from his sternum as well as suffering a sprained sternoclavicular joint in his chest.”

The reason Kolb suffered that grotesque injury is the Cardinals offensive line. This is also why Skelton will not be able to help the offense improve. 

Kolb was sacked 27 times before being knocked out the game against the Bills. This is the highest number in the NFL, despite Kolb playing one fewer game than most quarterbacks.

He was taken down eight times against the Miami Dolphins in Week 4, then sacked nine times the very next game against the Rams. 

The atrocious pass blocking has allowed the team to gain just 199.8 yards per game through the air, which ranks 28th in the NFL. The offensive line has not done a serviceable job opening holes for the banged-up corps of running backs; the team also ranks 28th in rushing yardage per game. 

Skelton had little to work with when he entered the game against the Bills, and he was not able to succeed in a difficult situation. He finished the game with just two completed passes on 10 attempts, 45 yards, an interception and no touchdowns. 

As long as the offensive line continues to play this poorly, the Cardinals quarterback will not be able to consistently produce at even an adequate level, regardless of whether Kolb or Skelton is playing.