QB consistency has affected Cardinals' season
John Skelton (Getty)
John Skelton (Getty)

Posted Dec 30, 2011

Inconsistency at quarterback, with both who is playing and how, has hampered the Arizona Cardinals all season.

Inconsistency at quarterback, with both who is playing and how, has hampered the Cardinals all season.

That will continue through the last game. Kevin Kolb has missed two games since suffering a concussion against the 49ers on Dec. 11. John Skelton has started in his place and has gone 4-2, but that record can be attributed to the improvement of the defense.

Skelton has shown enough ability and resilience to indicate he has a future as a starter. But he's also struggled with accuracy and his slow starts are maddening.

The Cardinals think inexperience is the reason for Skelton playing so poorly in the first halves of games. Skelton is in his second season but his development was hindered by the lockout.

What has to concern the Cardinals about Skelton is his inaccuracy. He's completed just 54.8 percent of his passes. He has struggled more with short and medium routes. Skelton looks like he's trying to aim the ball on shallow crossing routes, and the result often are throws that end up high or behind receivers.

"The guy makes so many plays at the end of games, but you get so frustrated because he misses things earlier in the game that would give you a chance to get going," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "You see him make some of those plays in the last few games and you think he's arrived and you forget he is essentially a rookie, a young player."

He's had to play far more than the Cardinals wanted or expected. Kolb missed four games because of a foot injury and two with the concussion.

Last Saturday, he said he was still having trouble processing thoughts. That's a scary admission, and it's hard to imagine he would take the risk of playing Sunday against the Seahawks.

The Cardinals brass still envisions Kolb as their long-term starter, and they are encouraged by Skelton's future. But overall, it's been a disappointing season for the development of the two quarterbacks.

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