The quarterback situation in Arizona obviously and understandably has many Cards fans nervous about the upcoming season. The simple question is, can the Arizona Cardinals win with John Skelton or Kevin Kolb?
My short answer is yes.
Obviously, a lot is expected from the Cardinals defense this season, and it will take a similar effort this year to win, but keep in mind, the Cardinals went 8-8 starting both quarterbacks last season, so it can be done.
While still the fan favorite, here's the simple truth about John Skelton, he isn't going to light anyone up in the NFL, not this season anyway. He still has a ways to go, and accuracy remains a concern.
Ideally, a John Skelton-led offense will be a slower-paced, ground-and-pound kind of offense that controls the clock. While this may not be the most electrifying offense to watch or even the most ideal way to use the weapons they have at wide receiver and tight end, this could be an effective strategy for Arizona.
I have enough confidence in Skelton to be able to manage the game and make throws late in games to win. Skelton moves better in the pocket and has shown the ability to buy enough time to get the ball down the field or occasionally make a play with his legs.
That wacky Kevin Kolb seemed to do just enough—when it counted the most—to snatch a sure starting spot from Skelton. Minus two bone-headed interceptions, Kolb looked effective last Thursday against Tennessee.
For all the inconsistencies and questions about his durability, one has to think that the offense is somewhat more potent with Kolb behind center. While he has the tendency to make plays that leave you scratching your head (as Skelton does), he's also shown the ability to be accurate and to get the ball down the field when he's on.
I liked the up-tempo approach with Kolb. If executed right, it could be an effective way to somewhat offset the deficiencies in the offensive line.
If Kolb is the starter, I would like to see an offense that spreads out more, relies on quick snap counts and a lot of quick throws. Opposite of a John Skelton-led offense, an up-tempo offense has the ability to effectively use the pass to set up the run.
In either scenario, the Cards are going to need to rely heavily on defense and the running game. Whether it was the New York Jets and Mark Sanchez or the San Francisco 49ers and Alex Smith, one thing we know is that you can win in the NFL with a strong defense and an effective running game, even if all you get is mediocre play at quarterback.
Most importantly, maybe it's time for the fans and the coaching staff to come to terms with this one thing—that the only guy capable of running Kurt Warner's offense retired over two years ago.
Building an offense to the strengths of the quarterbacks we have will go a long way in determining whether we can win with either of these two this season or not.