ARIZONA CARDINALS

The new Tim Tebow? Skelton leads Cardinals to another win

Dec 19, 2011, 2:02 AM | Updated: 2:15 am

John Skelton’s 13 of 19 for 114 yards and one touchdown in
the first half Sunday was but one small step for a man,
and one giant leap for the Cardinals.

OK, maybe not.

Skelton was a bit more effective in the first half of
Sunday’s win over the Browns than he had been in other
games, though that’s not really saying much.

Then again, the Cardinals’ formula in Skelton’s starts has
been to keep the game close and let the QB win it late.
And as they say, if it’s not broken…

Skelton completed 12 of 20 for 155 yards in the fourth
quarter and overtime, as the Cardinals rallied – again –
for a win, beating the Browns 20-17.

At one point these games were crazy, now they’re just the
norm.

“It wouldn’t be a win if we didn’t do it that way,”
Skelton said after the game. “It’s a fun and exciting
game, but it shouldn’t have to come down to that.

“If we execute early in the game it won’t be like that in
the end.”

Of course, the Cardinals didn’t execute early – they
rarely do. Then again, whatever they’re doing is working,
because the win was the team’s fourth straight and evened
their record at 7-7 on the season. Skelton is now 4-1 as a
starter (5-1 if you count last week’s win over San
Francisco), even if his play isn’t always pretty.

In fact, his success:statistics ratio has invoked
comparisons to another, more famous NFL QB.

“As soon as the fourth quarter comes on he takes his cape
off and he comes out there and gets it going. He makes
throws, he scrambles; he does whatever is necessary to get
the victory,” receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. “He just
makes plays down the stretch. Everybody talks about Tim
Tebow and his record as a starter, you look at John’s
record and it’s pretty good too.”

So maybe, with the Broncos losing to the Patriots Sunday
and the Cardinals pulling out another win, Skeltoning – or
something like it—will become the new national fad.

The Cardinals, though, would settle for continued
improvement.

“He is growing, he is learning,” head coach Ken Whisenhunt
said, noting that Skelton missed some throws.

Indeed he did, and while Skelton had one pass intercepted
he easily could have had a couple more turnovers. But,
like in every other win he’s led them to, Skelton made
some real good throws, too. And, as usual, the good
outweighed the bad.

That doesn’t mean, though, that Skelton is satisfied with
his performance. He knows he needs to get better, but is
also confident he will in time.

“I don’t consider myself able to lean on the crutch that
I’m a young quarterback anymore,” the 23-year-old said.
“If there are plays out there that need to be made, I need
to make them; I need to stop using excuses and stuff like
that.

“Every time you play a game you’re getting that much more
experience, and that’s really what I’m just trying to work
at.”

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