The Arizona Cardinals kicked off their preseason yesterday in Canton, Ohio with a loss to the New Orleans Saints, 17-10. There are plenty of positives to look at from this game, but plenty of negatives as well. The biggest upset is that Kevin Kolb had to leave the game early with a rib contusion. His status heading into the next game against the Chiefs in unknown.
Leaving early didn't look good for Kolb's resume, but that doesn't mean he is out of the quarterback race yet. John Skelton may have the leg up right now, but consistency and accuracy are still an issue that could see him handing the job right back.
By all appearances, Skelton played rather well. He led the team to their sole touchdown of the game and seemed to hit his receivers in stride. He went 4-6, passing for 32 yards. Kolb, on the other hand, looked absolutely miserable on the field. Before leaving with his injury, he went 1-4 for 4 yards and threw a rather ugly interception to Malcolm Jenkins.
Still, the battle is far from over. This is just the first preseason game and if Kolb is healthy, he is going to put up a fight. Skelton was scheduled to start the next game with the first unit anyhow, so Kolb could potentially come in with the second team and shine. Skelton has shown issues with accuracy and decision making as well, so he will need to continue to show consistency to maintain the lead.
These are not the only two quarterbacks in contention with one another. Journeyman Rich Bartel is looking to lock up the 3rd quarterback roster spot once again by beating out San Diego State rookie, Ryan Lindley. Bartel 3 of his 7 passes for 61 yards, but not without some help from his supporting cast. Michael Floyd and Rob Housler made him look better than he actually was.
Lindley threw the ball with decent precision and he looked poised in the pocket for his first NFL game. His accuracy, much like Skelton's, was off at times, as he completed 10 passes of his 21 attempts. He also threw an interception, but that is something that rookies do.
Lindley gobbled up the majority of the playing time, so I would expect Bartel to possibly see a few more snaps in the next game. Once again, this race is far from over with these two.