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John Skelton: No reason Cardinals can’t top 49ers in NFC West

John Skelton

Arizona Cardinals quarterback John Skelton (19) passes against the San Francisco 49ers in the third quarter of an NFL football game in San Francisco, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)


The 49ers won the NFC West last year and are favored to win it again this year, but Cardinals quarterback John Skelton has other ideas.

Skelton said on the Dan Patrick Show that his expectations are high, and he expects to be hosting a playoff game in January.

“As long as we come out and we start fast -- last year we kind of put ourselves in a hole, starting 1-6 -- but if we come out fast, we win the games we know we need to win, we do well in our division, there’s no reason we can’t win the division, knock the Niners off and make it into the playoffs,” Skelton said.

Skelton is being generous when he says “we” started 1-6 last year: Skelton didn’t take a single snap in any of those first seven games. It was Kevin Kolb who led the Cardinals to a 1-6 start in 2011. The Cardinals went 6-2 in their eight games with Skelton at quarterback, including a big win over the 49ers when Skelton entered the game after Kolb got knocked out after throwing just one pass, so it’s easy to see why Skelton feels confident that they can be a winning team this year, when he’s starting the season as the starting quarterback.

Still, topping the 49ers in the NFC West is going to be a tall order for the Cardinals. Even if they have a better chance of doing it with Skelton than with Kolb.