And the pre-season is off!
Unfortunately, the Cardinals didn't seem to get the memo, as they lost their first pre-season game of the 2012 NFL season to the New Orleans Saints.
Hit the jump for details from the 2012 Hall of Fame game.
The Offense was largely ineffective, as the final score shows. QB Kevin Kolb was taken out of the game early in the 1st quarter when he was tackled in the end-zone, resulting in a rib-injury. Prior to the injury, he had barely put up a show, going 1-4 for only 4 yards, with 1 interception. He was soon replaced by Skelton, who did remarkably better, going 4-6 for 64 yards, and leading a TD drive that ended up with an Alphonso Smith TD. Even better, during Skelton's TD-drive, the Saints defense was comprised mainly of their starters, with only a few of their backups in the game at that point. This is definitely going to give Skelton a jump in the QB competition. 3rd-string QB Richard Bartel and rookie QB Ryan Lindley finished off the game. Lindley went 20-42 with 236 yards, though he failed to tie up the game on his final drive, instead turning over the ball in an interception.
Drew Brees was able to carve up the Cardinals Defense, going 8-10 for 82 yards. During Brees' only drive of the game, rookie RB Mark Ingram was able to score a TD for the Saints off a 1-yard rush up the middle. The Defense also failed to prevent the Saints 3rd-string QB, Chase Daniel, from throwing a TD to Travis Cadet. However, Safety Blake Gideon managed to bring in two interceptions, which was one of the highs for the Cardinals from todays game.
Special Teams didn't produce any highlights of their own, although this is largely to blame for the absence of Larod Stephens-Howling and Patrick Peterson. However, many missed tackles gave the Saints a couple of amazing returns of their own.
Next week, the Cardinals take on the Kansas City Chiefs. Many are predicting that Skelton will get the start, due to Kolb being hurt, and due to his encouraging performance in today's game.
And hopefully, next week will be another step in resolving the on-going QB competition.