Are the Arizona Cardinals on damage control this season? Not Necessarily. Ken Whisenhunt made a huge decision to go with John Skelton at quarterback for week 1, but it’s a decision that will be hard to take back.
At this point in Kevin Kolb’s career, getting beat out for the starting position probably shattered any confidence the kid had left after he left the Philidelphia Eagles. If Skelton does not perform, will Whisenhunt leave him in? Or will he break another quarterbacks confidence by benching him? It’s hard to say at this point, but here are my five key points to staying above .500 for the Cardinals.
1. Run the ball- Beanie Wells ran the ball better than average season last year rushing for over 1000 yards. If Whisenhunt and company want to maintain control there is no better way than to maintain a balanced game. This should keep turnovers lower and help with clock management.
2. Special teams- A lot of people are so focused on the quarterback situation in Arizona they forget that special teams can make or break a game. The worst thing they could possibly do it get behind early in a game with such a young and inexperienced quarterback.
3. Throw the ball to Larry Fitzgerald- Okay you got me, this is an obvious one, but still needed to be said. Throwing the ball to Fitzgerald will open up running lanes and create opportunities for the offense even if they are not completing the pass. Having Fitzgerald in the back of defenders mind is the best play he can be.
4. Bend, but don’t break defense- Arizona is going to give up some big plays this year. They can give the offense confidence by holding teams to field goals. To stay above .500 they will need to create their own opportunities. They have enough talent, but the real question is can they play as a team?
5. Keep the quarterback off the ground- Skelton is going to have his fair share of turnovers this season. The best way to not add to that is keep their quarterback up right. The more confidence any quarterback has the better he is going to play. Obviously a lot of that confidence comes his offensive line, but I expect the Cardinals to use Wells out of the back field a lot more to keep the defense on their heels.
So, there you have it. At this point it’s pretty obvious that the season is pretty much all on the broad shoulders of John Skelton. With a little help from his defense the Cardinals just might make a run at the NFC West title.