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Scouting report: Cardinals passing offense

Nov. 4, 2012
 

The Cardinals haven't found a quarterback since Kurt Warner retired after leading them to the Super Bowl in the 2008 season. They rank No. 24 in passing yards and No. 31 in average yards per pass, an especially telling stat that reveals a passing game's efficiency and big-play ability.

Starting quarterback Kevin Kolb has missed the last two games and is expected to miss a few more after reportedly having multiple ribs detached from his sternum against Buffalo. He's had decent moments since being acquired from Philadelphia last year (6-8 as a starter with the Cardinals, 86.1 rating this season) but his future as their long-term starter is in doubt because of his tendency to hold the ball too long and make bad decisions. The game might move just a little too fast for him.

Some scouts think John Skelton (6-6, 244) could become a viable starter, but the third-year pro from a small school (Fordham) remains raw. He has great size and a strong arm but limited mobility and shaky throwing accuracy (57.9 percent completion rate this season). He's 8-6 as a starter overall but is 1-2 this season with a 64.5 rating (one touchdown pass, four interceptions) and is coming off a dud performance (68.6 rating, three points) against San Francisco's top-rated defense.

The Cardinals have one of the game's dominant receivers in Larry Fitzgerald (age 29), but because of all the problems at quarterback, on the offensive line and injuries at running back, his impact has been limited. He ranks No. 8 in the NFL in receptions, but his average of 11.4 yards per catch indicates defenses have limited the damage. He's still capable of dominating a game, though. The No. 2 receiver, Andre Roberts (5-11, 195), isn't a speedster but runs good routes and has excellent hands (36 receptions, 12.6-yard average).

The Cardinals rank last in the league in sacks percentage, and Brown's replacement at left tackle, seventh-year pro D'Anthony Batiste, is a journeyman who doesn't have the feet to play that key position.

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