Following injuries to Derek Anderson, and backup Max Hall, the Arizona Cardinals handed fifth round pick John Skelton the reigns for Week 14 against the Broncos.
And while most fans left the game feeling positive about Skelton, a few, including Greg Esposito of Sports 620 KTAR were quick to point out that we have been here before, with Max Hall's first win against the Saints.
His article, Skelton's first start an awful lot like Hall's pointed out the similarities between Skelton and Hall, and brought a lot of fans back down to earth.
In this slideshow, we will take a look at why Skelton has given the fans a lot more to be excited by than either Hall of Anderson has in 2010.
Anyone who has followed the Cardinals in 2010 will immediately be able to point out where it all went wrong.
Our turnover differential has been unacceptable, with Quarterbacks being the primary culprits.
Part of the reason, without a doubt, has been because of the level of pressure our offensive line has allowed the defence to apply to them, because the number of sacks has also been unusually high.
In Week 14, however, in contrast to Hall's start in October, Skelton managed to leave the game without a sack or interception.
Against the Saints, in spite of the win, Hall was intercepted once, and fumbled the ball twice. He was also sacked four times.
Against the Broncos, Skelton managed to keep the ball in his hands, and away from those of the defenders.
It's not that Denver didn't try, Skelton was blitzed regularly, and he was forced out of the pocket often, however due to his surprising mobility, pocket presence and quick release, Skelton avoided sacks. He was also unafraid of getting the ball out while being hit, and still managed to not throw a pick.
All-Pro corner Champ Bailey was covering top receiver Larry Fitzgerald all night, and Skelton was still unafraid to put the ball in the direction of his star receiver.
He was also smart. He didn't force the ball, escaping the pocket and throwing the ball aways when there was no open receivers.
Indeed, only twice throughout the game did the Broncos even have a chance to pick him off, not bad going for a rookie QB.
Greg Esposito was quick to point out that Skelton's stats, 15 of 37 with 146 yards and a 52.3 quarterback rating, with a longest pass of 25 yards, were actually worse than Hall's, against the Saints,17 of 27 with 168 yards, a 65 quarterback rating, and a longest pass of 26 yards
However, counter-intuitively, in this case, the numbers really don't paint an accurate picture at all.
Yes, Skelton's completion percentage was not great, and his QB Rating uninspiring, but that isn't really the point.
Against the Saints, the Cardinals running game was none existent, with Hightower and Wells combining for just 41 yards.
Against the Broncos, Arizona running backs, plus a few receivers, Jay Feely, the Cardinals kicker, and Skelton himself, combined for 211 rushing yards.
When you are able to rush like that, passing becomes much less important.
His stats were also affected by the play of his receivers, and their inability to shake their coverage.
As fellow Bleacher Reporter Columnist Richard Perez points out "On the Cardinals first drive, Fitzgerald and Wright both dropped passes. Nine of Skelton’s incompletions were attributed to outright drops and another five were from throwing the ball away when no one was open."
The Cardinals offense was much more balanced in Week 14, than in Week 5, and Skelton had the freedom not to have to force dangerous passes. The Cardinals were more productive overall, and in no small part because Skelton was able to open up the field for the run.
While we have already established that Skelton's stats do not tell the whole story, that his lack of sacks and turnovers, and the complexion of the game both make his stats more impressive than they would appear at first glance, they must also be considered in light of the following.
Coach Whisenhunt had previously claimed that Skelton was not ready to play at an NFL level, and consequently made him the third string Quarterback in Arizona. Skelton was not even named starter until a few days before the game, and, prior to the Monday before the game had not practised with the first team at all since preseason.
In contrast, Hall, as backup, had been taking regular snaps and learning the playbook during practise when he was named starter in Week 5. He had been practising regularly, with the first and second team for no less than an uninterrupted nine weeks.
Hall came into Week 5 with a working, on field knowledge of the offense, the plays, and the players. Anything Skelton did during his start, he had learned during the previous six days, or from watching from the sideline.
It was clear that Skelton and his receivers were not quite on the same page all of the time, but that's to be expected. His timing was a little off and routes didn't quite develop the way he expected, but Skelton remained calm, making decent enough passes, and put the ball out of reach of defenders.
No, his passes weren't always on the numbers, but importantly, they were close, and usually catchable, or else well away from anyone, including the defenders, which is certainly not a bad thing.
And, unlike Hall, and even more, Anderson, Skelton made good decisions in a split second, without giving the game away. Without really knowing the routes, timings, or his receivers, Skelton was still able to make plays without staring down his receiver, and made the corner's job far more difficult.
"John is, like, emotionless," said Cardinals receiver, Larry Fitzgerald of Skelton. "Nothing flusters him, and that’s a great quality to have in a quarterback."
Indeed, Skelton looked the part on Sunday.
His decision making, poise and composure were, by far, Skelton's biggest assets against the Broncos.
He made decisions like a seasoned pro, and while he did not score a touchdown, significantly, he didn't throw away chances either. Most of the Cardinals drives ended with points, one way or another.
Yes most were Kicks, but three points is still points on the board. Significantly, Skelton managed to put his team in the position to score those three points time and again. He did not make mistakes which put the Cardinals out of range. He did not turn over the ball in the Red-Zone, and he did not take sacks making his Kickers job more difficult.
Sure, the play book was basic, but that doesn't matter, Skelton made the most of it. If it wasn't working, Skelton was not afraid to direct trafic and make changes as the play unfolded.
Standing 6 ft 6 in tall and weighing 244 lbs, Skelton is an imposing figure under center, and certainly made use of this. He was not afraid to put his body on the line for the team, making a fantastic block to make free a lane on a reverse play, and lowering his shoulder while scrambling for a first down.
His composure and professionalism belied his age and inexperience, and while no-one is declaring him the next Joe Montana yet, he is giving them reason to whisper about the possibility of him starting in 2011.
The Cardinals fans have not had a lot to celebrate in 2010, but have stayed loyal to this franchise.
Perhaps the most exciting thing about Jonh Skelton was not his ability to win fans to his cause, I suspect that they would have rallied around Ryan Leaf at this point, but his ability not to deliver the goods, and not disappoint them.
Skelton is likeable. The fans wanted him to be good, and in return he works hard, at least against the Broncos, to help make something happen for them.
He has a great attitude, and relishes any chance he has been given.
As fans, we don't know what he will turn into, but unlike Anderson, and to a lesser extent, Max Hall, the fans are excited by what he could be.
When Anderson was named starter, no Cardinals fans cheered. No-one was excited by the prospect of having Derek Anderson under center. No-one had high hopes for the season. We all felt that he was not a good prospect.
When Hall was named his replacement in Week 5, we were apprehensive. Sure, we were excited, but it was much more to see Anderson benched than it was to see Hall start.
And while some of us—myself included—bought into the hype, we were quickly disappointed. We felt Hall was the answer to all of our prayers, that he was ready to lead the team to victory after victory. If that was our expectations, of course we were going to be disappointed.
It's hard to say whether Skelton will do the same, but, at least in Week 14, he did not.
But, unlike Hall, and Anderson, Skelton feels like he has more to offer.
He feels like he has come into the league as a rough, uncut diamond, ready to be shaped, polished and improved, rather than the finished product.
Unlike Hall, Skelton doesn't feel like the answer to prayers yet. He doesn't feel like he is yet ready to lead this team, but somehow, that is good. We feel like we are getting in on the ground floor of something that can go a whole lot further.
Hall always felt like he was, more or less, as good as he was going to get from day one. And while we thought that his ceiling was higher than it turned out to be, but we never felt like there was much room for improvement.
Skelton couldn't be more different. Yes, he has had some great positives, but that feels like the tip of the iceberg compared to what he could have to offer.
And that is one exciting prospect.