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Skelton Does Enough In Win

Posted Nov 6, 2011

Notebook: Beanie struggles, Special teams shines in Rams' win

Quarterback John Skelton throws on the run during Sunday's win over the Rams.

On the first safety he took Sunday, Cardinals quarterback John Skelton said the coaches let him know there was nothing much he could have done about it, since the team had tried to go for a big play and the Rams just did a nice job defending it.

On the second he took, on the very next Arizona play? “I got my …” Skelton said with a smile, leaving out the obvious details.

Skelton “missed a number of things” in the 19-13 overtime win against St. Louis, coach Ken Whisenhunt said, but he was poised, Whisenhunt added, and he was enough.

With starter Kevin Kolb on the shelf because of turf toe, Skelton’s play got better as the game wore on. He was his best on the drive that tied the game, leading an 84-yard march with 47 yards passing and another 28 yards scrambling and throwing a 13-yard touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald.

Skelton finished 20-of-35 for 222 yards and no turnovers, reiterating his comfort level was “night and day” compared to his four starts last season. He also admitted he felt better in the fourth-quarter no-huddle in part because the Cards could play faster and he could get the ball out of his hands quicker.

There were also the safeties, which Whisenhunt acknowledged “really hurt us.”

“That’s what you have when you have a young quarterback,” Whisenhunt said. “He’s made great strides from where he was last year.”

Kolb is still expected to be the starter in Philadelphia next week, assuming his toe has healed enough.

SPECIAL DAY FOR SPECIAL TEAMS

For all the ups and downs the Cardinals have had this season offensively and defensively, special teams has played well. That was certainly on display Sunday, when Calais Campbell blocked what would have been a game-winning field goal for the Rams and Patrick Peterson followed up with his 99-yard punt return in overtime.

“We just made a great step-up on special teams, and sometimes that’s what you need,” Peterson said.

Campbell’s block, the fourth of his career, saved the day.

“I think our team willed that today,” Whisenhunt said.

Campbell said the push inside by teammates David Carter and Darnell Dockett helped tremendously to let him get through in time to knock the ball down.

“We have done it so many times together what whenever we go out for a field goal we are right next to each other,” Campbell said of he and Dockett. “That was the best push I have ever seen in my life.”

BEANIE’S ROUGH OUTING

Running back Beanie Wells struggled, gaining just 20 yards on 10 carries with his sore knee. That included a 14-yard rush on his final attempt of the game early in the fourth quarter.

Whisenhunt was asked how much Wells’ injury played a factor, but the coach just said the Cards “didn’t do a very good job running the football.”

“We’ve been better this year and that was not good enough today,” he added. “We had some things early and we didn’t hit them and that kind of got us out of that mode.”

ADAMS SHOULD BE OK

Cornerback Michael Adams left the game strapped to a stretcher near the end of regulation after colliding with Brandon Gibson on a tackle. While it was a scary moment, Adams did have feelings in his extremities and was expected to be OK.

Tackle Brandon Keith also left the game after getting hurt, although it was nothing serious. Jeremy Bridges replaced him, and while Keith could have returned to the game, Bridges remained in at tackle.

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