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NFL Preseason: A Look At The NFC West Quarterback Performances So Far

Three preseason games are now in the books for each NFL team (besides the Giants and Jets, who will play tonight). While many clubs are looking just about set for the regular season, some are still struggling to find their identities and some haven't even made a decision on who the starting quarterback will be. 

Luckily, the Arizona Cardinals do not have that problem. We know what the depth chart will look like, save for a few positions. It is obvious that Kevin Kolb will be leading the Cardinals on the field this season, but what about the other teams in the NFC West? What do their quarterback situations look like?

After the jump, I am going to break down what each quarterback has done in the preseason so far and whether or not they should be watching their backs for someone else to take their jobs.

The Arizona Cardinals have had a promising preseason so far. Kevin Kolb looks dynamic and the chemistry between him and the rest of the offensive unit is growing. According to Evan Silva, an NFL writer for NBC Sports, Kolb is 21 for 38 on pass attempts (55.3%) and has thrown for 353 yards through his first three games in Cardinal red. He has one touchdown under his belt, while remaining efficient with no interceptions. 

There is no doubt that Kolb is the starter and will be the starter for this team. John Skelton and Richard Bartel will likely being backing him up this season, so all in all, I think Arizona has a lot of talent and promise at the quarterback position.

Moving on to the St. Louis Rams, they also have a steady quarterback that is looking to improve upon his rookie season. Sam Bradford's numbers look somewhat similar to Kolb's as he has completed 24 of 43 passes for a completion percentage of 55.8%. He has four touchdowns, two interceptions and 278 yards through the air. 

When looking at the Rams' official website, Thaddeus Lewis is the only QB shown to be on the roster outside of Bradford. Cardinals fans may recall that having two quarterbacks can be a risky proposition (Matt Leinart and Kurt Warner both went down at the same time a few years back), but apparently St. Louis would rather use that extra roster spot on another position player. Bradford's job is safe, so if he can continue to grow under offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, he is poised for a fine season. 

Now to the lowly San Francisco 49ers. San Francisco has had it's share of struggles over the past few years at quarterback. It seems odd to me that a franchise that boasts the names of Joe Montana and Steve Young could have such problems at that position, but who am I to judge. Right now, they have former first round pick Alex Smith at the vanguard of their squad, so the future is far from promising.

Smith's stats are underwhelming to say the least. He is12-26 in the passing game (46.1%), throwing for 153 yards, 0 touchdowns and two picks. Sadly (or hilariously depending on how you look at it), Smith posted a 2.8 quarterback rating in the team's last game against the Houston Texans. Even more horrific is the fact that he is backed up by a rookie (Colin Kaepernick) and Josh McCown. Yes, THE Josh McCown. Kaepernick finished Saturday night's blowout loss with a 20.8 quarterback rating, so he is nowhere near ready to take over the offense once Smith inevitably falls on his face. What it boils down to is that head coach Jim Harbaugh will get a good shot at being reunited with Andrew Luck next season. 

One of the teams that could get in the way of Harbaugh's dreams is the Seattle Seahawks. With Tarvaris Jackson at the helm, they are due for a dismal season. His preseason numbers so far do him absolutely no justice, for the offense that he orchestrates looks flat and unreliable. He has completed 27 of his 48 passes (56.2%) for 181 yards. Jackson also has one touchdown and one interception to put on his résumé.

"Operation Suck For Luck"  is in full effect, but if the team wants any shot at winning a few games in 2011, I think they should start Charlie Whitehurst. Affectionately known as 'Clipboard Jesus,' Whitehurst has shown in the past that he can at least move the chains and keep some sort of an ebb and flow to the offense. In the preseason, Whitehurst currently has a 70% completion rate, connecting on 33 of his 47 passes. He also has one TD and no INTs, so picking him to lead the team would probably be the wiser decision. 

What do you think fans? What is your assessment of the quarterback situation in the NFC West right now? Will Arizona be able to come out on top again this season? Let your voice be heard in the comments section below. 


Thanks to Evan Silva of NBC Sports for providing the numbers for the quarterbacks.