We have come to the second-to-last preseason game of the summer, with a couple of NFL teams having made their decisions as to whom will open the season at quarterback. The Arizona Cardinals have yet to make that call, but Thursday's game at Tennessee could be the one that ultimately decides whether it will be Kevin Kolb or John Skelton.
It's the most pressing question on the team at present and comes with a subset of more inquiries. Who will run the offense? Who will start the season on the bench? Has Kolb been bad enough to lose what he seemingly had locked up before the preseason? Is Skelton good enough to win more than a few games?
This feels like the last shot for Kolb, and even a solid game might not be good enough for him to overcome the labels he's been given (by the Raiders' Tommy Kelly, for one) and the general ineffectiveness he has displayed. If Skelton can just hold serve, so to speak, and prove one more time that he can move the team soundly if not spectacularly, the job is all but his.
The second-to-last preseason game is the one where starters get the most extensive playing time. Keep an eye on how much Skelton plays, especially if he is the guy who gets the ball coming out of halftime, because that's what the coaches want to see -- how the No. 1 units perform coming out of the break.
Kolb is 5-for-15 for 47 yards and has taken four sacks. In three game combined. He has a rating of 15.1. Skelton is 10 of 15 for 90 yards and a TD and has also thrown an interception. Not exactly earth-shattering either, but certainly better than Kolb.
It cannot be underestimated the impact of Kelly's accusations of Kolb. The Cardinals can come to the aid of their teammate as expected, but the fact that an opposing player felt that strongly about what he saw in Kolb speaks volumes. It makes fans wonder, who in that Cards locker room doesn't believe in Kolb?
Though a QB decision from coach Ken Whisenhunt might not come until Labor Day Weekend, it might be pretty easy to read between lines in the preseason finale next week. This is the game where the starters hardly play, or don't play at all, and the guys fighting for roster spots get their last shot to make an impression.