Despite Kevin Kolb producing flashier numbers than John Skelton, neither quarterback seemed in full control of the offense in Thursday's preseason game against the Tennessee Titans.
Skelton was the first up to bat and fell miserably on his face behind a turnstile offensive line. His first two plays from scrimmage resulted in a sack and a bad interception on an overthrown ball across the middle. Things didn't get much better from there with Skelton completing only 4 of his 10 passes for 41 yards, good for a sparkling quarterback rating of 12.9.
The worst part of it all? Not one of those passes landed in Larry Fitzgerald's hands.
In the other corner, if you take away two plays from Kolb, he puts up arguably the best Cardinals quarterback perfomance of the preseason. Unfortunately for him, those two plays were perhaps the worst of the game: two mind-bottling interceptions, including a pick six on the first offensive play of the second half.
Looking purely at the box score, though, Kolb did manage to move the offense better than Skelton against the same first-team defense. Even with the two ill-advised throws, Kolb only missed on five of his pass attempts (17-of-22), racking up 156 yards, all while finding a way to get Fitzgerald the ball (five receptions for 91 yards on six targets).
From a points perspective, Kolb lead the Cardinals to ten, including a three-yard touchdown pass to Andre Roberts. Skelton only managed to put a three-spot up on the board thanks largely in part to Jay Feely showing off his range (49-yard field goal).
Additionally, Kolb had drives of -11, 45, 86 and 60 yards, not including the pick six in the second half. Skelton's drives (-8, 5, 22, 17, 7) combined were less than three of Kolb's.
Sure, the eye test will still most likely be the biggest determining factor, and neither of these quarterbacks looked pretty. But there's no denying that Kolb won the battle of the box score Thursday.