When Drew Stanton went down against the St. Louis Rams, fans drew a collective grumble. Enter Ryan Lindley, the player with 181 NFL career pass attempts, who has yet to throw a single touchdown paired to his seven career interceptions. (That's a pick every 25 throws.) He did well in his brief time against the Rams. He moved the ball into field goal range, and set up a nine point lead.
His stat line may look unimpressive (4/10 for 30 yards), but when you go back to the film, there were three passes that hit his guys in the hands, only to be dropped. Then there were the two throws to John Brown, one just too far for Brown to get a knee or two feet in bounds, and another that was just a little inside. Both plays would have been huge, but as Lindley has no to little chemistry with John Brown, those are excusable after being thrown into the fire.
Lindley gets a week of film and most, if not all, the first team reps to build a connection with his receivers. So why am I so confident in Ryan Lindley?
Well the most obvious is that Lindley is with a different set of coaches and in an entirely different situation from his 2012 campaign. In 2012 he was thrust into the starting role for a team that had given up. He was behind an offensive line that was historically bad and a coach he knew he was on the outs. Larry Fitzgerald had his worst season as a pro, and the running game was dismal. Lindley was put into a situation to fail horribly.
I've seen a lot of fans who look at the 58-0 (no article appropriate words come to mind) loss to the Seattle Seahawks, and think Lindley was at fault. We seem to forget that Skelton was the starter that game, after Lindley completed a porous 37% of his passes against the Jets. Another reason we should look past his poor rookie campaign.
Lastly, when Steve Keim got the job as the Cardinals GM, he promised himself and the fan base there would not be a repeat of the Seattle game under his tenure. Even with the Cardinals on their fourth quarterback of the season, I believe him. He, Bruce Arians, and the entire roster believe that Ryan Lindley will get them where they want to be, and there's no reason to think they're just blowing dust. That is why we, as fans, should forgive Lindley for his disastrous rookie play, and believe in him to lead us to the No. 1 seed.