QB John Skelton, Cincinnati Bengals
HT: 6-6, WT: 243, Born: 3-17-1988, College: Fordham, Drafted: Round 5
|Outlook • Career Statistics • Game Logs • Split Stats • Play-by-play • Latest News|
John Skelton was claimed off waivers after being released by Arizona. Despite being young and having started 17 games in his three-year career, Skelton is no threat to Andy Dalton. He's simply an experienced backup in case Dalton were to be injured and miss time - something that hasn't happened yet in Dalton's young career. Skelton has starter experience, but his output has been spotty. He's not a player who could lead a team to the playoffs carrying the majority of the offensive burden.
|1||at Chicago Bears|
|3||Green Bay Packers|
|4||at Cleveland Browns|
|5||New England Patriots|
|6||at Buffalo Bills|
|7||at Detroit Lions|
|8||New York Jets|
|9||at Miami Dolphins|
|10||at Baltimore Ravens|
|13||at San Diego Chargers|
|15||at Pittsburgh Steelers|
2012 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Skelton forced the ball to Larry Fitzgerald early and often before leaving the game with an ankle injury that looked anything but minor. While itís always a good idea to look for Fitzgerald whenever you can, Skelton threw into tight coverage far too often and was fortunate not to be picked off more than once. His first three passes went to a tightly covered Fitzgerald, with only one of them being completed for a measly three yard gain. Mid way through the Cardinals second drive he discovered Andre Roberts, who had better separation. A 19 yard bullet over the middle to Roberts was thrown through a small window after Skelton did a nice job avoiding the rush. He showed good touch on a 12 yard swing pass to get the Cardinals down to the two yard line but was not good on two attempts into the end zone. A pass over the middle to Fitzgerald on second down was batted down by one of the three defenders in the area and a Favre-esque flip over the defense to Ryan Williams was creative, but will over the running backís head. Skelton started his third drive with a good throw on a deep post to Early Doucet and an excellent play fake before finding Jeff King in the flats. A precise throw to the sideline found Doucet and again pushed the Cardinals into the red zone. After another good throw on a cross to Todd Heap, Skelton badly missed King in the end zone on a three yard pass and the Cardinals ran it in on the next play. Skelton made a great back shoulder throw to Fitzgerald for a 23 yard gain on the Cardinals final drive of the half but the drive stalled due to penalties and Skeltonís day went downhill quickly from there. In the third quarter he completed just one pass to his own team, and one to the opposition. His interception came as he rolled right and was trying to just throw the ball away. He left the ball a little too close to the field of play and Richard Sherman made an outstanding play to pick the pass and keep two feet in bounds. As he continued to force passes throughout the half he was lucky that more werenít picked off. His ankle injury came with 8 minutes left in the 4th quarter as the Cardinals picked up their first first down of the half. He was on the ground in serious pain for much longer than your average ankle injury and was eventually carted off the field with a disgusted look on his face.
Week 6 - Skelton was forced into action late in the game and nearly led the Cardinals back to victory on Sunday. Skelton only completed two passes, but both led directly to scoring chances. On 4th and 11, Skelton found Fitzgerald on a slant from the slot for 17 yards. It was a very accurate pass with tight coverage and all the more impressive considering he had done nothing more than watch from the sidelines up to that point. Later in the 4th quarter, Skelton again found Fitzgerald in the slot, this time with a blown coverage for 28 yards, putting the Cards well within FG range. However, just like the man he replaced, Skelton got caught staring down his target at the worst possible time and Byrd again made the QB pay. Skelton never took his eyes off Housler coming off the line, allowing Byrd to come down from his safety position and again step in front of the pass. Like Kolb, Skelton had decided on Housler pre-snap, but did nothing to disguise his intentions and Byrd took advantage.
Week 7 - The Arizona passing game started strong, as Skelton lead a long drive down the field that had a good mix of run and pass plays. Often Skelton was able to make quick decisions while going through his progressions, hitting the open man. This all came to a halt as pressure got to Skelton and he tried to scramble away, but was soon stripped from behind and fumbled in the red zone. Skelton struggled to gain any momentum afterwards, even with a running game that was largely successful. The tight coverage in the secondary forced Skelton to hold on to the ball much too long, allowing the defensive line to flush the immobile Skelton out of the pocket. These scrambles were where Skelton was at his worst, not only fumbling the ball but throwing an interception when none of the receivers could beat the coverage. When Skelton finally made a decision, he threw to Early Doucet, even though Doucet had Antoine Winfield on his hip and Harrison Smith in front. The ball landed right in Smithís arms, and the safety ran for a defensive touchdown. As the game went on, Minnesota was able to get more and more pressure on Skelton, resulting in poorly thrown balls and sacks. Skeltonís complete lack of mobility was on display, as defenders never had to worry about containment. On a 4th and 1 attempt, the Cardinals actually called a rollout for Skelton, and with his fullback and tight end not able to get open, Skelton attempted to run it himself. Winfield hit Skelton so hard the quarterback flipped over his shoulder. The most successful drive occurred at the end of the game, when Skelton was able to run the two-minute drill. He looked much more comfortable being able to go through the drill and make quick throws, connecting with Andre Roberts multiple times, including the touchdown, which was a nice recognition of the defender jumping the tight endís route and leaving Roberts all alone in front of the goal line. When Skelton was able to make quick throws, he was at his best. However, the Minnesota secondary played well enough to ensure those opportunities were few.
Week 8 - There were many reasons the Arizona offense failed, though the one constant was the extremely poor play of the offensive line. Skelton was under pressure all night and simply couldnít make accurate throws. There were several instances of miscommunication, such as a throw where the receiver kept running and Skelton threw to a short hook route. There were instances where the defense created pressure and slammed Skelton to the ground as he floated passes to covered receivers. But probably the worst part of Skeltonís game, which he did have control over, was how often Skelton locked on to his primary receiver and led his receivers in to danger. On a short crossing route to Early Doucet, the safety had identified that Skelton had locked on to Doucet and was running at full speed towards the wide receiver, well inside Skeltonís line of sight. Skelton threw the short crossing route to Doucet anyways, and the resulting hit was gruesome to watch. This happened with Fitzgerald in the 1st quarter, which resulted in the crown of Fitzgeraldís helmet being driven in to the ground. There were times that Skelton was able to develop a rhythm in the passing game, mostly the result of very quick timing routes. When the receivers were able to get separation and Skelton could get rid of the ball as quickly as possible, the passing game worked. But even then, when Skelton had driven the Cardinals in to the red zone, he still managed to overthrow Fitzgerald in the end zone while double covered, getting his star wide receiver shaken up again and with nothing to show for the effort. Any time the receivers couldnít get separation and Skelton had to hold on to the ball for even a few seconds, the play usually resulted in a 49er pass rusher breaking through the line and hitting Skelton hard. Perhaps if there was any running game whatsoever, Skelton may have been able to buy a little more time to make his throws, but the offensive line routinely failed in that capacity as well. In fact, other than a screen to LaRod Stephens-Howling and another to Early Doucet in the 1st quarter, Arizona couldnít even get the screen game working. The pressure on Skelton was non-stop and inability to complete any passes that werenít quick timing throws on underneath routes stunted any chance of Arizona mounting a comeback. His one interception was the result of a Hail Mary pass at the end of the first half, a desperation throw to get anything going, and the ball landed in a group of three 49er defenders.
Week 9 - With Kevin Kolb still nursing an array of injuries, John Skelton again got the start for the Cardinals in Green Bay. While the running game wasnít as bad as it was Monday night against the Niners, the Cardinals were losing almost the entire game, so it left Skelton to build a decent looking day, statistically, from a volume standpoint. For most of the first half, it was business as usual for the Cardinals offensive line, as Skelton was, at times, running for his life. When he was afforded the time to throw, he did make it count against a banged up Packers secondary. His 40-yard bomb to Andre Roberts to set up a LaRod Stephens-Howling touchdown was a good example of what Skelton might be able to do with time to throw, as he was in a rhythm and he found Roberts perfectly on the post route. Then, early in the second half, left tackle DíAnthony Batiste was benched in favor of 7th round rookie Nate Potter, which coincided with Clay Matthews leaving the ballgame for good, also a positive for the Cardinals passing game. By the early 3rd, it was 24-7, and Dom Capers would routinely only send a couple of blitzers, giving Skelton time to find open receivers. With all of the volume passing that Skelton eventually racked up, he was able to spread the ball around, targeting four receivers 7 times or more. The Cardinals pass catching corps behind Larry Fitzgerald is also taking shape, with Andre Roberts proving that he is not a fluke, and rookie Michael Floyd finally overtaking Early Doucet as the number 3 receiver. On his lone touchdown, Larry Fitzgerald put forth a superhuman effort after the catch, taking a 10 yard pass, and running 20 yards after the catch, making several guys miss and dragging defenders over the goal line. His interception came on a tipped ball, so Skelton was a bit unlucky there, but during the first half, he was missing throws as he struggled to throw under pressure.
Week 11 - John Skelton struggled early in this game and he was rather quickly benched in favour of QB Lindley. The Cardinals coaching staff clearly become frustrated as Skelton was failing to move the ball and was making mistakes. Skelton only had 7 pass attempts and the Cardinals ran the ball a lot while he was the starter which showed the lack of faith the Cardinals had in their QB. Skelton was benched early in the second quarter after accomplishing very little despite excellent field position. The Cardinals offense received very good field position due to turnovers their defense got but had to kick field goals 2/3 times. Skelton was struggling a lot with his accuracy and missed several receivers who had gotten open. The ground game only got yards in big chunks and Skelton could rarely convert on third down. The final straw likely came as Skelton missed WR Fitzgerald in the endzone on a corner route as he was wide open for an easy-looking potential score.
Week 14 - The Cardinals offense never even got started at Seattle this week, especially Skelton and the passing game. The first drive was a microcosm of things to come as Skelton completed a couple of easy throws as Arizona approached field goal range. When an obvious passing situation arose, in this case third down, Seattle pressured the pocket and closed quickly on Arizonaís receivers. The best drives of the day for Skelton ended in punts as he was responsible for five of the teamís eight turnovers. The offensive line did Skelton no favors as they consistently allowed immediate pressure. One of Skeltonís interceptions turned into a pick-six as he and Larry Fitzgerald were not on the same page on a back shoulder throw. Arizonaís starting center was injured in the second quarter, which added insult to Skeltonís chances to salvage some garbage production. Immediately the pair fumbled a snap, which Arizona luckily recovered. Skeltonís day ended in the mid-third quarter as quietly as the game started. The Cardinals trailed 48-0 at the time as Ryan Lindley filled in to close the blowout. Skelton has thrown an interception in 5-of-7 games this season and has 11 turnovers against just two touchdowns.