Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 11/20/11
Monday would be a really good day for Kevin Kolb's foot to fully heal. The St. Louis Rams are on deck and the Cardinals 2-week-old quarterback controversy is over unless you're talking about the backup spot. As predicted, the San Francisco 49ers quieted all those irrational, reactionary, semi-informed voices calling for John Skelton to steal the starting quarterback spot from Kolb because the Cards won the last two games with Skelton at the helm. There's no telling if Kolb would have fared better against what may be the NFL's best defense, but it's hard to imagine a worse performance than Skelton's at Candlestick Park. He lasted three quarters in his worst performance as a pro. Here were the bullet points: Six completions 19 attempts 99 yards Three badly thrown interceptions Multiple missed receivers A 10.5 quarterback rating It was a nightmarish performance, which is why Rich Bartel made his second appearance of the season in the fourth quarter. "I put myself in that situation. Having three interceptions is not a good day," said Skelton, who also had to contend with fumbles by Beanie Wells and punt returner Patrick Peterson. "It was just one of those days." One of those days Skelton figured he was past after getting his feet wet last season with four late starts. "John played like a rookie today," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "He's a young football player, and he's going to have his ups and downs." "He hasn't been the fastest starter in games and we thought that he would get rolling. It just got to the point where it wasn't going to happen today and we needed to make a change." Skelton had engineered three fourth-quarter touchdown drives in his past two games, but the 49ers' consistent pressure and tight coverage were a notch up from what he had seen the past two weeks. "They got us with a few coverages, but at the same time, they gave us some stuff and I just didn't hit it," Skelton said. "I'm frustrated right now and I'm sure that when watching the film I'm going to be frustrated more." In case, you're wondering, Whisenhunt made it clear that if Kolb isn't healthy enough to play next week at St. Louis, Skelton will remain the starter over Bartel. If you want to take issue with that decision, go ahead. Whisenhunt is sticking to his plan, and that plan includes going back to Kolb once he is ready to play. The Cards didn't give him a five-year, 63 million contract extension -- including a 20-million guarantee so he could sit the rest of the season after underperforming in his first seven games in a brand new offense. Besides, it's clear under any rational analysis that he still gives this team its best chance to win. Skelton worked some minor magic to spark the Cards' brief winning streak the past two weeks, but it's clear that he's not ready to steal the spotlight on a permanent basis. Arizona got a great effort from its defense, which limited the 49ers to three first-half field goals despite a pair of turnovers that gave San Francisco good field position and a lopsided time of possession advantage in the 49ers' favor. But the offense couldn't carry its weight, managing just 229 yards. "If we can get out offense to play at the level of our defense, we will be OK," Whisenhunt said.
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