Ryan Lindley will make first NFL start this week

Getty Images

The Cardinals’ six-game losing streak started with Kevin Kolb at quarterback and continued with John Skelton under center.

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.

21 responses to “Ryan Lindley will make first NFL start this week

  1. Why??? At least Skelton gives the team a chance. Should have won the game last week, but no, gonna put Lindley in the game so he can throw for whopping 64 yards.

  2. 1. You Rams fans are in for a sad surprise from Beanie Wells and the new-look O-line.
    2. Skelton was not doing well, but the Cards were WINNING 13-0 on the road in the first quarter against an 8-1 team. Why yank the QB??
    3. It shook the Cards when Skelton was yanked, and they went on to lose. They were off kilter with Lindley. Whiz should have waited till this week to start him. But how could he do that? You don’t replace Skelton when he wins games, so Whiz had to replace him IN CASE AZ WON THE GAME.
    4. Lindley didn’t show anything that made anybody think he would be anything more than an average-to-bad QB.

  3. After seeing his performance in relief last week I think an equally accurate alternate headline would be “Ryan Lindley will make his last nfl start this week”

  4. As an observer from afar, this seems like a desperate move by Whisenhunt and reminds me of the decision to start Max Hall. I’m sure Lindley is more talented than Hall, but you are setting this kid up for failure by playing him too early and with no help up front. They’d be better off letting him learn from the sideline rather than destroy another QB prospect by throwing him to the wolves before he is ready.

  5. This officially puts Wiz on the hot seat, which is sad because he’s a good coach. But starting Lindley has EVERYONE in Arizona baffled. Skelton may not be tearing it up, but he has a decent amount of starts under his belt and has chemistry with the offense. I hope this kid does well but with no protection, he’s just another victim

  6. It’s time to draft to draft a stud left tackle and a stud center like Khalid Holmes. It doesn’t matter who you put at QB if you don’t have a line. Peyton Manning took one look at the Arizona line and said I’ll pass. Just not for your team. The Cardinals need a mobile QB until they can figure out their line. Levi Brown will be back next year but he’s a fringe tackle at best who might help at right tackle. Vince Young might be worth a flyer.

  7. I just don’t get how you can bounce from Derek Anderson to Max Hall to Skelton to Kolb, etc. etc. etc. I understand they got burned on the Kolb trade, but it just seemed like everyone expected them to do it so they did it vs. actually doing their due-diligence. This team has more or less been a middle-of-the-road, squeak out some wins team since Warner left.

    What a waste. Do what you need to do to find the guy while you still have the talent.

  8. Don’t anyone expect too much from Lindley in the NFL. In college, his career completion average was 55%. That include those generous defenses at the small schools who don’t play real pass defense, but need the bigger gate payday to support its meager budgets. With Lindley having the scouting knock that his accuracy was too poor for any team to draft him, presto – look at his performance of 9 completions in 20 attempts for something like 60 yards. That definitely does not provide any real confidence that the can even do as well as Kolb or Skelton although Whiz has confessed that Lindley has impressed him in practice and with his knowledge of the playbook, you know, just the same as what impressed Whiz with Max Hall and faked Whiz to play Hall in real games with real hitting instead of controlled practices with the QB wearing the “Do Not Hit” jersey.

    Oh well, we can all tell that Whiz has given up on this season already and his moves tells the rest of the Cards that this season is down the drain.

  9. The Cards had a deadline to pay Kolb to remain on the team that had to be met. Payton’s decision timeframe was a week later. If Kolb’s date had been later, might have been a different story with Peyton.

  10. Lindley can’t be any worse than Helter Skelten. Honestly, his errant throws ag Falcons were inexcusable.
    To Lindleys defense, he made a brilliant throw under pressure to Fitz that should have been caught. Had he caught it, Cards may have won and nobody here would be 2nd guessing the coach.

  11. Well, this should be the nail in the coffing for Whiz in Arizona. The good news is that it frees him up to go coordinate for Cowher in Carolina.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!