According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Cardinals will go with 2nd-year QB John Skelton over Kevin Kolb Saturday in Cincinnati. Per the report, Kolb is healthy after suffering a concussion last week, but will be benched in favor of Skelton, the Fordham product who has led the Cardinals to 5 wins in 6 starts.
“Skelton-mania” isn’t getting quite the publicity that Tebowmania is–thank God (score!)–but the Cardinals are still very excited about what he brings, and the Bengals will need to be prepared. Skelton’s passing numbers are actually quite pedestrian. He’s only completing 55.5% of his passes with 8 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. His passer rating of 69.8 is well below Andy Dalton’s 81.0, and is 31st in the league. This has to be good news for Cincinnati’s ailing secondary.
However, Mike Zimmer’s charges will need to be wary of Skelton’s size and ability to scramble. At 6-6 and 244, Skelton looks a lot like a young Ben Roethlisberger, and he runs much like him too. He’s carried the ball 19 times in those 6 games for 103 yards, so keeping him contained in the pocket will be key for the defensive line. If they do, they should be rewarded. Skelton has had 3 fumbles in 6 games, and has taken 16 sacks, including 4 last week to the Browns.
The Cardinals are very much like the Bengals: fighting for the last wildcard spot in their conference. It’s a must win for both teams. Let’s hope the Bengals are prepared to defend their home turf and their playoff lives and come away with the win in their orange jerseys!