Apparently the sky is falling. After a 4-0 start, the Arizona Cardinals are now 4-4. The offensive line stinks and both Kevin Kolb and John Skelton have taken turns going down with injuries. In the losing streak, apparently the new wave of reaction is to think that the team should give up on Skelton and go with the rookie Ryan Lindley.
Heck, even Pete Prisco from CBS Sports is saying the same thing. "What do they have to lose?" he asks.
The answer? A lot more games.
Sure it feels bad. The season looks hopeless because of the offensive ineptness the team has had. The offensive line is leaking pass rushers. Larry Fitzgerald isn't getting the ball.
But we need to remember that the season isn't done. The Cardinals are not out of the playoff picture yet.
Remember how the Cardinals went from 1-6 to contending late for a spot in the playoffs? The team is 4-4 right now, more or less what most of us though they would be at this point.
As such, why in the world would you start Ryan Lindley? Was there anything in the preseason that made you think that he would be better than Skelton? I didn't.
Skelton, if you all recall, helped win football games. He has actually performed at this level. Lindley has not yet.
The team is still battling to contend. They believe they can. I believe they still can. The offensive line showed it can keep the sacks down. they allowed only five in the first three games combined. The defense is still very good.
To put Lindley out at quarterback is to concede that the season is over, and that is not the message the coaching staff wants to send. The season is very much still salvageable. It's even funny to write that. How many times has it ever been said about the Cardinals that 4-4 was a ruined season? I can't remember a time ever, mainly because 4-4 hasn't happened a whole lot.
The only reasons to start Lindley are these:
Both Kevin Kolb and John Skelton are injured.
This is a real possibility of this. Kolb is going to be out a few more weeks. Skelton has already gotten hurt. This was the exact situation that sent Skelton into action his rookie year. Max Hall went down with a shoulder injury and Derek Anderson had a concussion.
Skelton plays awful
Skelton so far has not been impressive, but he hasn't been dreadful. He still threw for 290 yards and the only turnover he had was a last second Hail Mary at the end of the half. He has truly only made one absolutely terrible throw all season and that was the pick six against Minnesota. Lindley isn't going to outdo that.
The season got out of control and the Cards are out of contention
At that point, you can go into a developmental mode while trying to win. At 4-4, as badly as the game went against the 49ers on Monday, they are still very much in the divisional picture.
Anything other than the above mentioned situations, and to play Lindley would be football foolishness.
The team needs to play better, but there is no need to blow anything up right now. What Ken Whisenhunt has been saying is right. They just need to execute better. It has worked before, it can again.
Lindsanity was fun in the preseason. But it was never serious. This is real football with real wins and losses. Lindley is not Andrew Luck, RGIII or Russell Wilson. He was drafted in the sixth round for a reason His relative talent is nowhere near the previously mentioned rookie signal callers.
He isn't the answer this year. If we get to the point where no answer is needed, then the team should go ahead and find out if he will be the answer in the future.
Until then, just stop it with the Lindley talk. They do have something to lose -- games, and more importantly, the players' respect for the coaching staff.