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In his first professional start, John Skelton lead the Arizona Cardinals to their first win in seven games.
Let's be clear.
Skelton did not win the game for the Cardinals. He did not throw a touchdown, completed less than half of his passes and did not make any huge plays. He passed for just 144 yards, fewer than counterpart Kyle Orton, but he did help the team to win.
He is still a long way away from being a permanent starter in the NFL. He is just not ready play at an NFL level every week yet.
If you take a look at the numbers, there isn't really anything to write home about. But then take a look at some different numbers.
Skelton is a rookie QB starting his first game, and as such, you normally see two things: turnovers and sacks. Skelton had neither.
It's not that the Broncos didn't try. They blitzed him and Champ Bailey was on fine form, but he was just better than their best attempts.
But numbers tell only half of the story. Until the beginning of this week, Skelton had not practiced with the first team. He had not learned the playbook and had no timing with his receivers. On his opening drives, it looked that way too. Skelton did not complete one of his opening six passes, but soon he developed a nice understanding of where and when his receivers would be.
His passes were not always on the numbers but, given his one week of practice, he was by quite a distance the best quarterback the Cardinals have seen all year.
More than anything, for a rookie, he made good decisions and managed the game well. With the exception of one ill-conceived shovel pass, and a deep pass in the vicinity of nine-time Pro Bowler Champ Bailey, Skelton never looked likely to turn the ball over.
He made sensible calls. He escaped pressure and got out of the pocket when he needed to. If there was no play, he chose not to force the ball, putting it instead in the third row.
He has a good arm, and decent mobility, and while he seems to air the ball out a little too much on the deep ball, everything just looked better under the big rookie from Fordham.
But there was more still to like about John Skelton.
Unlike either Max Hall or Derek Anderson before him, he looked in control on field. He had a good sense about what he needed to do, and when.
He looked comfortable in the pocket and was decisive when he did throw it. For someone who did not know the offense, he managed it very well.
He did not give away where he was throwing by staring down his receivers; he looked off multiple receivers, and made the right decisions about who to throw to.
He trusted his elite wide receiver, Larry Fitzgerald, even though he was covered by Bailey, who shut down a red-hot Dwayne Bowe last week.
As I said, I'm a long way from declaring him the franchise quarterback at Arizona, but one thing is sure: he has earned the right to prove that he could be in 2011. He should certainly have the chance to start the remaining games of 2010 and cement himself as a candidate for 2011.