When the Arizona Cardinals were 4-0, it was easy to overlook the offensive struggles they were having. Now that they have lost two straight games, not to mention quarterback Kevin Kolb being sidelined for at least six weeks, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, things are going to get worse.
Kevin Kolb's sternum and shoulder injuries will keep him out 6 weeks or more. Took a significant beating with poor OL and no run game.— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) October 16, 2012
John Skelton was handed the starting quarterback job thanks to a strong preseason, which is laughable for so many reasons, but wound up injuring his ankle in the first game of the season, opening the door for Kolb.
To Kolb's credit, he did make enough plays to at least give the Cardinals some hope that they had, in fact, found the quarterback they were searching for since Kurt Warner retired. He went 66 passes before throwing an interception in Week 4 against Miami.
After that game, though, the wheels started to come off and Kolb was back to looking like the quarterback everyone remembered. His average yards per attempt dropped to 5.78 in Week 5 and 4.92 last week.
What is the biggest problem facing the Cardinals right now?
The Cardinals have not been an offensive juggernaut at any point this season, scoring less than 20 points in four games and are 31st in yards per game. This is a problem that goes far beyond anything Kolb was or wasn't doing.
It is easy to bash Kolb because he was the prize player acquired in a high-profile trade last year and signed to a big long-term extension without ever throwing a pass for the Cardinals, but other than Larry Fitzgerald, nothing has gone right for this team on offense.
Their offensive line is a mess—they have allowed 28 sacks through six weeks, the most in the NFL. The running game is virtually non-existent. Ryan Williams is averaging a paltry 2.8 yards per carry and Kevin Kolb is the second-leading rusher on the team.
Whether it is Kolb or Skelton taking the snaps, this offense is going to continue to struggle because there is no balance or protection up front. You can have the best quarterback in the league, but if he doesn't have time to throw the ball, it doesn't do the team any good.
Plus, when you look at the schedule to see that the Cardinals take on Minnesota and San Francisco the next two weeks—two teams with stacked defensive lines capable of getting after the quarterback in a hurry—things are going to get ugly.
That 4-0 start is going to be an aberration. As good as the defense is, particularly the secondary, they are going to be asked to do so much because the offense is not going to be able to score points.
Unless they are only giving up 10 points per game the rest of the season, it is impossible to see a scenario where the Cardinals win seven games.
Kolb or Skelton, it doesn't matter who the quarterback is. There are no easy answers for the Cardinals under center right now.