Arizona is hoping the third man is the charm. Coach Ken Whisenhunt announced Wednesday that Ryan Lindley will be the starting quarterback for the Cardinals when they face the Rams on Sunday. Lindley was drafted in the sixth round out of San Diego State this April and replaced Skelton in the first half of last week’s 23-19 loss to the Falcons. Lindley went 9-of-20 for 67 yards in the game and lost a fumble that the Falcons returned for a touchdown. When he entered the game, the Cardinals enjoyed a 13-3 lead over the Falcons, but they were outscored 20-6 the rest of the way despite five interceptions from the defense.
Lindley didn’t look any worse than Skelton, but he didn’t look particularly ready to be a starting quarterback in the NFL either. It feels a bit like Whisenhunt is throwing darts in hopes of hitting on something that works, which is sort of like what it’s felt like watching Cardinals quarterbacks pass the ball this season. That’s why it is hard to be too critical of his decision to ditch Skelton, even if there’s not much evidence that Lindley provides a better answer.
The Rams defense ransacked the Cardinals offensive line for nine sacks in the first meeting of the season so Lindley could be in for a long day on Sunday. That would be fitting as it has been a long season for the Cardinals offense.