With three win as a backup starter this season, Cardinals QB Drew Stanton has already set a career record for wins in a season after three years in NFL limbo.
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Carson Palmer earned that extension. He may not be playing the rest of the season, but he did more than enough in his six starts to justify it. By going 6-0 as starting QB for the Arizona Cardinals, he helped give them a commanding lead in the incredibly difficult NFC West. At 9-1 with 3 of those wins coming from backup QB Drew Stanton, the Cardinals can realistically play .500 football the rest of the season and still be a near-lock for a first round bye or home field advantage in the playoffs.
Stanton has earned his paycheck as well, and much like high-performing backups like Mark Sanchez, Michael Vick, Kyle Orton and Brian Hoyer, it could earn him a big payday next year as well.
Here are the five biggest winners in the NFL from Week 11:
Chicago Bears – As predicted they got the much needed win to put the brakes on the “Fire Everything” talk. That being said, if this team only played the final three quarters of every game, it would be a much different football team.
New England Patriots – Andy Dalton? Check. Peyton Manning? Check. Andrew Luck? Check. The Patriots are running out of franchise QBs to beat up on with their defense. At this rate they’ll be resting starters by early December.
Arizona Cardinals – No Palmer, no problems – for now. but with five of the final six games against Pro Bowl QBs, including two games against the Seahawks, that may change.
Green Bay Packers – Is there any team in the NFL besides the Seahawks that can truly go toe for toe with this team in Lambeau Field anymore? We won’t find out for sure until the playoffs.
Atlanta Falcons – The Falcons are now 4-0 against NFC South opponents – and 0-6 against everyone else. The Falcons are now 4-6 and in the division LEAD. Say what you will, they’ve gotten wins when they needed them and could very well be the first 6-10 team in NFL history to host a playoff game.