Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt announced today that he’s sticking with John Skelton as his starting quarterback, despite his pitiful performance against the San Francisco 49ers Monday night – and despite having to play against the Green Bay Packers‘ defense this coming Sunday.
Or maybe it’s BECAUSE of the Green Bay Packers’ defense.
Maybe Whisenhunt has already watched tape of the Packers soft defense against the Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday and Blaine Gabbert‘s (yes, Blaine Gabbert’s) 303-yard passing performance against the Green Bay. He’s sticking with Skelton maybe because he knows his QB could have a career afternoon, much like Gabbert.
In fact, if you’ve got a middling quarterback – even a bad quarterback – you play them against the Packers who seem to have made a habit through the years of making stars out of unknowns.
Historically, how many times have the Packers allowed mediocre opposing quarterbacks to have their way with them? … through the years there have been many.
Remember Jason Garrett back in 1994 who started for Troy Aikman on Thanksgiving Day and beat up on the Packers? Garrett was 15-26 for 311 yards and one touchdown. After a slow start, he heated up in the second half and led the Cowboys to a 42-31 win over the Packers.
How about Steve Beuerlein in 1999 when he came into Lambeau Field with the 5-7 Carolina Panthers and threw for 373 yards, but more importantly ran a quarterback draw on the game’s final play for the game-winning touchdown?
How about Paul Justin in 1997 when he and the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Super Bowl Champion Packers. Justin was 24 of 30 for 340 with a TD and a 2-point conversion in that one. Paul Justin? Really? C’mon.
Remember when rookie Josh Freeman led his winless team to a victory over the Packers just a few years ago – a game that was so disconcerting to Packers Nation that Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson were nearly run out of town?
These are just a handful of games and players that come to mind. I’m sure I’m missing many others. We’ve seen it happen time and again and dodged the mediocre-quarterback-turned-star syndrome this past Sunday with Gabbert’s performance.
Could we be in for something similar when Skelton comes to town?
I surely hope not, but I think Ken Whisenhunt is counting on it.