Tough Decisions Coming Up for the Arizona Cardinals (Again)

Who would have thought a month ago that the Arizona Cardinals would matter this season? These guys have looked awful since Kurt Warner retired and were especially bad during the preseason. They looked every bit the part of a team hoping to get the No. 1 pick in the next draft.

Here we are three weeks into the regular season and they are one of three undefeated teams in the NFL. What the —-? Have pigs learned to fly?

Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona CardinalsIt’s not like the Cardinals have played a bunch of schmucks either. Seattle is a team on the rise, the Patriots are—the Patriots, and the Eagles are pretty good as well (at least on paper).

So what it is? Were these guys just tanking it in the preseason so they could sneak up on people or what?

The better question might be why we didn’t see this coming.

Last season the Cardinals were not half bad. They were not much to watch and often times played a little on the ugly side, but they were actually in more games than they were out. Of the eight games they lost, only three were by more than a touchdown; another three could have been won or tied with a field goal.

With the San Francisco 49ers dominating the division and everyone they played, it was easy for people to look at the Cardinals early six game losing streak and write the team off. This season the Cards are making sure that doesn’t happen.

Winning is never easy and usually comes with a ton of tough decisions that need to be made. Arizona made one when they opted to go with John Skelton as the team’s starter over the high-priced Kevin Kolb. Now it looks like they will have another tough one coming up.

Skelton could be ready to go anytime within the next week or two. He returned to practice last week on Thursday. He did do enough to earn the job coming out of the preseason, but it has been Kevin Kolb that has led the team to three wins.

Kevin Kolb, QB, Arizona CardinalsWhile it hasn’t always been the prettiest, Kolb has been effective on the field. His one drive in Week One in relief of Skelton was a thing of beauty (6-8, 66 yards, 1 TD). Week Two was efficient (15-27, 140, 1 TD and 1 TD rushing).

An opportunistic defense has had a lot to do with the team’s early success. Turnovers have led to points in all three games so far, but then Kolb went out and put his own stamp on Week Three’s win over the Eagles. Against his former team he completed 17 of 24 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns. Just for good measure he added a nice little 14 yard run to his stat line as well.

Do the Cardinals stick with the hot hand (that they are paying like a starting QB) or go back to the guy that was the lesser of two evils in the preseason? To compound the problem, what do they do in two weeks when Kolb’s wife is expected to give birth to their third child (October 4, a Thursday night game against the St. Louis Rams)? Kolb has said he’s joining his wife, but with a job on the line now will he still do it? Will she tell him to play?

Oh the problems that come with winning!

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