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there goes our hero

The Redemption of John Skelton

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 11:  Quarterback John Skelton #19 of the Arizona Cardinals scrambles with the football 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 went down with an injury on Arizona's third play of the game yesterday, so John Skelton — The Sports Section's official favorite athlete for reasons long ago explained here — stepped in and led the Cardinals to a 21-19 victory over the playoff-bound 49ers. That's more like it! See, the last time Skelton faced San Francisco, it went so badly that he was eventually benched. (His next start, against the Rams, wasn't very good either.) But yesterday, Skelton earned a bit of redemption by throwing for 282 yards and three touchdowns, and though he also threw two picks, he finished with a 106.5 passer rating. Arizona, for what it's worth, has now won four of the five games Skelton has appeared in, and though they're still just 6-7 on the year, you can see some scenarios in which they wind up in the playoffs right here.

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Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images