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Arizona Cardinals

Updated Aug 18, 2012 - 6:42 am

There can't be much left for the Arizona Cardinals to decide, can there?

Arizona Cardinals quarterback John Skelton (19) throws against the Oakland Raiders during the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Friday, Aug. 17, 2012, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

There can't be much left to decide, can there?

There was never any doubt for me that the Cardinals game against the Raiders boiled down to a referendum on Kevin Kolb. While there were certainly other issues that required attention (defense, running game), the focus was on Kolb. This was going to be his night to win it or lose it. And he would be given ample opportunity to do either.

In the tradition of a November election, as the early precincts started to report, they did so in favor of Kolb. His first drive led to a touchdown and featured the 27-year-old quarterback completing all three of his passes, including a third down conversion. The fact that he hung in the pocket and took a hit did not go unnoticed.

It offered a sliver of hope that perhaps he could make this a difficult decision.

The sensation was short-lived. An intentional grounding. A safety. Incomplete pass. Another sack. Then another that included an unintentional pass to his offensive lineman.

Kolb's candidacy was crumbling before our eyes. Once John Skelton went 3-for-3 while calmly leading a short touchdown drive, I half expected Brian Williams to break in and declare Skelton the winner.

When the second half started with Ryan Lindley at the helm, it felt over. Nothing left to see.

Asked at halftime to assess the quarterbacks, coach Ken Whisenhunt said "we didn't get a lot of plays with John so it's hard to say." After the game he elaborated that it was more about the offensive line. Whisenhunt didn't want them to play the second half and he didn't want Skelton to play behind the twos. Again, Friday was always going to be more about Kolb.

Spin the white ball. Play the game of blame roulette. I'm not sure if it lands on Kolb or his offensive line. I don't think it matters much.

Perhaps this is an incredibly simplistic way of looking at it, but the offense just moves in a positive direction more often with Skelton than it does with Kolb. What else do you need to see or know?

Unless he implodes Thursday, John Skelton is the projected winner in the QB competition of 2012.

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