Big Red Blog: Skelton back under center

QB John Skelton is back under center as pride and contract incentives are the only things still on the line with the Cardinals all but eliminated from the postseason.

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Skelton back under center

Posted by Brad Wilbricht
Thursday, December 6 - 10:00 AM

The Ryan Lindley era is over for now as John Skelton has been named the Arizona Cardinals' starting quarterback for Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks.

The Seahawks will attempt to avenge a 20-16 loss against Arizona in Week 1 as they continue to jockey for a potential playoff spot. Seattle still has a shot to win the NFC West division just a game and a half back of the San Francisco 49ers and will host the 49ers in Week 16. Furthermore, a quick look at the Seahawks' remaining opponents show a realistic chance at winning out.

Meanwhile for the Cardinals, pride and contract incentives are the only things still on the line as they've been all but eliminated from the postseason for the third consecutive year.

The Seahawks are coming off a huge 23-17 overtime win against the Chicago Bears and even though this series has developed into a decent divisional rivalry, this certainly looks to be a letdown spot for Seattle.

That said, the Seahawks appear to have the intangibles needed to overcome a potential letdown. Those intangibles start with rookie QB Russell Wilson. Dating back to his senior year in college at Wisconsin, Wilson has been defying the odds and his surprising success had followed him into the professional ranks.

Wilson started the season as strictly a game manager but has developed into a legitimate playmaker. Wilson is completing over 63 percent of his passes and has a QB rating of 95.2. While Wilson has been overshadowed by other first-year signal callers, his numbers surpass those of Andrew Luck (55 percent, 76.1 QB rating) and are in the same ballpark as Robert Griffin III (67 percent, 104.4 QB rating).

Seeing the success of Wilson, sparks even more frustration for the Cardinals as they still haven't found their quarterback of the future. Kevin Kolb might be the answer but injuries and inconsistent play have limited his ceiling. Lindley is still a raw prospect and Skelton's sporadic play has leaded him to being benched on multiple occasions throughout his short NFL career.

The frustration stemming from the Cardinals' inauspicious play at quarterback has affected the team's defense more than anything. Arizona's defensive has been good enough to win games and can keep this contest close, but turnovers on offense must be avoided. The fact that Skelton is back under center should help as he without a doubt provides the team with a much better chance to win than Lindley.

This game could be a real surprise as the perception of Seattle is at a season high while the perception of the Cardinals is at a season low. With Skelton back calling the shots this will be a closer game that the experts think but Arizona still doesn't have the horses to win on the road at one of the toughest venues in the league.

Prediction: Seattle 20 Arizona 13

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