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Week 9 vs. STL
Passing: 20 - 35, 222 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: 4 / 38 / 0
Skelton had a real up and down game, sometimes making poor decisions and holding onto the ball far too long and sometimes making nice throws and running the ball well. He also seemed out of synch with his receivers at times, such as in the second quarter when his receiver broke off his pattern and Skelton seemed to think he was going to continue up the sideline. Skelton threw and was very lucky there was no interception as the only people around where the ball landed were wearing Rams jerseys. Skelton also hung onto the ball way too long when in the end zone and was sacked both times for safeties. On the plus side, Skelton led the team down the field and hit Larry Fitzgerald for two key receptions late, including Fitzgerald's touchdown to tie the game. On the play, Skelton scrambled to keep the play alive and put the throw where only Fitzgerald was going to get it. Most of the day though, Skelton was inaccurate and sloppy and it nearly cost the Cardinals the game.
Week 10 vs. PHI
Passing: 21 - 40, 315 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: 4 / 15 / 0
Skelton looked comfortable under center, and while he did make mistakes, he also bounced back well each time. The first thing Skelton did that set him apart from Kevin Kolb, was that he was able to find his secondary receivers, which kept the secondary spread out and in part led to his success hooking up with Larry Fitzgerald. Skelton did a masterful job of spotting and taking advantage of mismatches in man to man coverage, while also picking apart a tough zone defense. With very little margin for error, he consistently got the ball to his receivers in between the zone coverage. His main downside is that the Cardinals are still no good at picking up the blitz and so he dealt with a lot of pressure, especially in the second half. He countered that by working out o the shotgun and making a lot of short passes. Skelton threw a pick-6, and it was the result of him locking on to Fitzgerald too much and getting caught. On the next drive, not only did he march down the field for a touchdown, but the scoring play was again to Fitzgerald, this time with a pump-fake to the other side first. Lesson learned. Skelton got lucky on a few occasions --- with a tipped ball here and there that could have become turnovers, but didn't, but also seemed to be making his luck, playing aggressively. His interception in the 4th quarter was a bad throw, plain and simple. He could have had a completion to the underneath option but went for the longer throw instead. Overall, Skelton's game lacks consistency, but he's shown that he can run this offense well. He was able to utilize all of his receivers, and at the same time was able to give his star receiver a number of opportunities to make plays. In fact, he could have had another touchdown, except that a successful bomb to Fitzgerald was ruled down at the 1 yard line.
Week 11 vs. SF
Passing: 6 - 19, 99 yards, 0 TD, 3 INT
Skelton came back to earth as he had a poor performance on Sunday. He was even pulled at the start of the fourth quarter for 3rd string QB Richard Bartel. Skelton's biggest problem was that he kept trying to force the ball into his star WR Larry Fitzgerald. Although that seemed to work well for Skelton last week, the 49ers had 2 defenders on Fitzgerald at all times. This double coverage essentially took Fitzgerald away, and Skelton did not rely heavily enough on his other receivers. All three of his interceptions were poor decisions and two were targeted at Fitzgerald. The 49ers defense really had the upper hand as often Skelton started with poor field position. The Cardinals fell behind early on and weren't able to get the running game going because of all the turnovers. Although this was a bad game for Skelton, it looked like he was playing with one arm tied behind his back due to the fumbles and his own interceptions. The Cardinals were overmatched in this game, and they could not overcome one of the better teams in the NFL. Hopefully the second year QB will be able to bounce back next week against a weaker St. Louis defense, but this performance really took the wind out of his sails. Another thing to take away from the game is that Skelton has a very good arm and throws a very nice tight ball. He just needs to work on his decision making. This was a tough game but we should not write him off completely.
Week 12 vs. STL
Passing: 12 - 23, 114 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: 3 / 18 / 0
Skelton's day by the numbers was clearly a bad one. There were some positives to his game, but not many. The interim starter played it a little too safe, throwing just ahead of his target or a tad too high, all too often. Even though Larry Fitzgerald has made it his business to catch anything with less than ten feet of air on it, he had trouble with a number of high passes from Skelton. His first interception was the result of a ball just out of his star receiver's reach, and later Skelton's arm got hit as he let go of a pass, resulting in the other pick. Skelton dealt with a lot of pressure (and an offensive line that in week 11, still can't pick up the blitz often enough), and stayed in the pocket as long as he could. But too many miscues resulted in stalled drives and turnovers. Late in the game, he made a play that showed his leadership ability. Obviously frustrated at the lack of 3rd down success (0-for-6 at this point), Skelton scrambled and instead of taking an easy out, he takes the hit and dives for the first down marker --- and makes it. But bottom line: if not for Beanie Wells (228 yards rushing) and Patrick Peterson's (punt return TD, 4th this season) record-breaking heroics, Skelton would have been the goat in a loss.
Week 14 vs. SF
Passing: 19 - 28, 282 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: 6 / 25 / 0
Skelton replaced an injured Kevin Kolb, and his aggressive style was just what the Cardinals needed. The 49ers completely shut down the running game, so it was up to him to move the ball downfield. He didn't have an easy time of it, but he showed numerous times that he was willing to do what it takes to lead the team to the end zone. Skelton was far from perfect, but he had more hits than misses. His two interception both ranked pretty high on the fluke scale, and his lost fumble at least was the end of a valiant effort as he ran fearlessly up the middle for the first down, but then was hit hard and lost the ball. His highlights included a perfectly placed pass to Early Doucet in between zone coverage, which he turned into a 60 yard score, and in general Skelton's willingness to take chances in order to get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald, who had his best game of the season. On any given week, his aggressiveness could do him in, but it also seems to make this team a little better, a little more motivated.
Week 15 vs. CLE
Passing: 28 - 46, 313 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: 2 / 7 / 0
Skelton led this team to another comeback victory. The comeback was once again setup by a punt return by Cardinals first round pick DB Patrick Peterson. Skelton played solid and did not have a deep target to WR Larry Fitzgerald until the second to last play of the game. Fitz got wide open down the sideline, and Skelton threw a perfect strike for the 32 yard gain down to the Cleveland 5 yard line. Then K Jay Feely booted the short 22 yard FG to win the game in overtime. Since Fitz was covered by shutdown corner DB Joe Haden, who held him in check for most of the game, Skelton turned to WR Andre Roberts and often injured TE Todd Heap for targets. Skelton had a really nice TD pass to Roberts at the end of the first half. Roberts ran a corner route, and Skelton was able to thread the needle past two defenders for the TD. Skelton's lone interception wasn't really his fault. He threw a shade behind WR Early Doucet, and the ball bounced off Doucet into the hands of the defender. Skelton looked composed in the pocket once again and really throws a nice ball. If Skelton continues to put up wins it might be a tough decision for the Cardinals to go back to QB Kevin Kolb when he is healthy.
Week 16 vs. CIN
Passing: 23 - 44, 297 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: 4 / 6 / 0
Skelton had a very up and down day, showing both toughness and inexperience in a narrow loss that officially eliminated the Cardinals from playoff contention. As has been the trend lately for the Arizona offense, the second year QB got off to an ugly start, overthrowing WR Andre Roberts for the first of 3 interceptions; this one coming deep in Cardinals territory on their first possession. The Cincinnati defense, as it has done all year, brought persistent pressure on Skelton, giving him very little time to find open receivers. Skelton wasn't helped much by his receivers, either, as he was the victim of quite a few dropped passes. His second and third INTs, though, were just a combination of poor decision-making and inaccuracy, throwing the ball right to CB Nate Clements and then forcing the ball into double coverage, overthrowing WR Larry Fitzgerald into the waiting hands of S Reggie Nelson. Doing his best Tim Tebow impersonation, Skelton was like a different QB in the 4th quarter playing from behind. He wasn't consistently accurate and didn't make the best decisions with the ball, but just seemed to find ways to make plays when necessary, taking advantage of good field position and bringing the Cardinals back from down 23-0 to within a TD late in the 4th. Skelton's mistakes would revisit him, though, as he brought his team to within striking distance. The first big mistake came on 1st and goal from the 1 when he fumbled the ball on the way to handing it off to RB Beanie Wells. Luckily for him and the Cardinals, Wells recovered the fumble and the Cardinals were able to salvage the possession with a FG. With the ball inside the 20 yard line trailing 23-16, the second mistake proved deadly. Skelton had a chance to keep the Cardinals postseason hopes alive, but was just off the mark, missing a wide open receiver in the end zone on 4th and 5. WR Early Doucet broke into the secondary wide open due to a mix up in coverage, but instead of throwing the ball in the direction the receiver was running, Skelton threw the ball too far to the outside, forcing the Doucet to twist his body on the run, losing his footing and falling to the ground.
Week 17 vs. SEA
Passing: 22 - 40, 271 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: 5 / 19 / 0
Skelton's instincts in the pocket served him well; he knows when to start moving is feet, and would look for an open man until he'd crossed the line of scrimmage. In the first half, he spread the ball out but barely targeted his star receiver, Larry Fitzgerald. Midway into the third quarter, he made a few consecutive passes off to Fitzgerald and the pair began a serious tear that would take them right into overtime. For much of the game, Skelton's throws looked just slightly off, but it's amazing how a receiver like Fitzgerald made the same passes catchable. Skelton did key on his money target a bit too often at one point, and after a near interception, had the smarts to find his other receivers, who by then were getting less attention by the defense. This led to a goal line strike to TE Todd Heap. Without a true starting running back, the weight of the offense fell on Skelton's shoulders. He showed that he can handle the pressure, but has a ways to go with his consistency and pass accuracy.