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A stunning win at New England, followed by victories over Philadelphia and Miami made Arizona one of just three NFL teams to start 4-0, but the Cardinals were dominated in a 17-3 Thursday night loss at St. Louis, with Kolb taking brutal hit after brutal hit, including nine sacks.

Last Sunday, in a typically wild Arizona home game, the Cardinals’ Jay Feely kicked a franchise record 61-yard field goal to tie it, only to have his 38-yard attempt to win the game deflected. The ball hit the left upright and bounced out.

In overtime, Skelton threw an interception that set up Buffalo’s game-winning kick.

Kolb completed 14 of 26 passes for 128 yards against the Bills. He threw for a touchdown and was intercepted once. The scrambler also rushed for 66 yards in 5 carries, 22 on the play before he was hurt.

Skelton, a 6-foot-6, strong-armed pocket passer, is 8-4 as a starter after being drafted in the fifth round out of Fordham. In his career, he has completed 52 percent of his passes for 2,769 yards and 13 touchdowns with 18 interceptions. In his brief time this year, Skelton is 16 of 38 for 194 yards and no TDs with two interceptions.

Like Kolb, Skelton is a Texan — Kolb from Stephenville and Skelton from El Paso.

With Skelton finally healthy, Whisenhunt would have been on the spot to officially name Kolb the team’s starter or return the reins to Skelton. Kolb’s injury made the decision for him.

Rookie Ryan Lindley, a sixth-round draft pick from San Diego State, is Skelton’s backup.