When Kevin Kolb walked onto the field and put together a magical final drive that sunk a knife into the Seahawks' heart, the crowd's boos suddenly turned into chants of joy. He never would have been in the position to make such an impact had John Skelton not left the game in the fourth quarter with a low ankle sprain.
But now that Kolb appears to have acquired a bit of a hot hand, it might not be a terrible thing that Skelton tweaked his ankle. That leaves Kolb as the undeniable starter for the Cardinals this Sunday against the New England Patriots.
So... what happens if his hot streak continues? To me, it doesn't matter. One week, let along one drive, does not give you the reins to a starting job.
Outside of the third quarter against Seattle, John Skelton played pretty well. He was getting the ball to Larry Fitzgerald, hitting his receivers in stride and managing the game. He led a couple of red zone drives, one of which was capped off by a touchdown run from LaRod Stephens-Howling.
But when he seemingly lost gas in the third period, it was almost fate that Kolb was able to enter the game. He brought a much needed spark to the offense, fueling them to a touchdown drive that ended up sinking the Seahawks. But had Skelton not become injured, Kolb never would have had that opportunity.
That is why when Skelton returns, he should probably be the starter. But with him being out for the next 2-4 weeks, that leaves Kolb as the starter for the games against the Eagles, Dolphins and possibly the Rams. Should he do well in all of those, I would think that the pressure would be on Coach Whisenhunt for him to change his stance.
If Kolb plays well not only this week, but for at least the next 2-3, I think you have to name him the starter. At that point, we will be wondering if he has more than a hot hand. Maybe he will have finally figured it all out. Maybe all it took was the pressure being gone and Kolb being the undoubted starter.
Maybe, just maybe, the Cardinals can finally start cashing in on their huge investment. Optimistic? Sure. How about we see how Kolb does against the Patriots, first.