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there goes our hero

Our Dream of Seeing John Skelton Start a Playoff Game Is Still Alive

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 11:  Quarterback John Skelton #19 of the Arizona Cardinals drops back to pass during the NFL game against the San Francisco 49ers at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 11, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the 49ers 21-19.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Kevin Kolb missed yesterday's Cardinals-Browns game with a concussion, which meant that John Skelton — The Sports Section's official favorite athlete for reasons explained here — got yet another start for Arizona. And once again, the Cardinals pulled out a victory. They're now 5-1 in games in which Skelton has appeared — he started five of those games, and entered the other in the first quarter — and the 20-17 victory over Cleveland puts them back at .500 for the first time since Week 2. Arizona put up ten points in the fourth quarter to force overtime yesterday, then, after a Cleveland punt, Skelton hit Larry Fitzgerald on a third-down pass for a 32-yard gain, setting up Jay Feely's game-winning field goal. Skelton's numbers on the day: 313 yards on 28-for-46 passing, one touchdown, and one interception. There's no guarantee that Skelton would start a playoff game should the Cardinals sneak in — Kolb is still the starter long-term, assuming he's healthy — but with two games left, Arizona does still have a chance at a postseason berth. They'll need some help, sure, but they're alive, nonetheless.

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Photo: Christian Petersen/2011 Getty Images