Monday morning probably wasn't too kind to Cardinals' starting quarterback Kevin Kolb.
Not only was he forced to wake up with extreme soreness in his chest and ribs, but the six-year veteran had to stare the team's first two-game losing streak of 2012 square in the face.
However, for the 58 minutes he did play in the Cardinals' 19-16 loss Sunday -- he left the game late in the fourth quarter after falling awkwardly following a tackle by Buffalo's Alex Carrington and Chris Kelsay -- Kolb was one of the main reasons Arizona even had a fighting chance to pull off another improbable comeback.
"With the offensive line the Cardinals have and with the struggles the tackles have had, going up against a tough front four that the Bills can throw out there, Kolb kept them in the game Sunday," CBS NFL analyst Steve Tasker who called the game with Bill Macatee said Monday. "That game could have gotten out of hand if not for his wheels."
Kolb's wheels tallied 66 yards on five carries, including a 22-yard scamper on 1st-and-20 that set up the Cardinals' late game-tying score.
Jay Feely's franchise-record 61-yard field goal might have gotten the headlines, but Tasker told Arizona Sports 620's Doug & Wolf that it was Kolb's intuitiveness and ability to improvise that even gave Feely the chance at an attempt.
"That run he had for 22 yards was an absolute back-breaker for the Bills' defense," said Tasker, who called Sunday's game with Bill Macatee. "That was the difference maker. That was a huge, huge spot for him to do that in. He had done that all game and it really frustrated several of the Bills' players."
Although Kolb is towards the bottom of the league among starting quarterbacks in terms of passing touchdowns and yards thrown this season, Tasker believes that in his second year with the Cardinals, he has proven his worth in a different category.
"Look, his ability to extend plays is pretty elite," said Tasker. "Now he doesn't have an elite arm and because of the limitations the guys in front of him have, he's not going to be able to drop back and have an elite year throwing the football. But, the guy is getting it done under some pretty tough circumstances."
Kolb's status for Sunday's game at Minnesota is still unknown. Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said x-rays on Kolb's sternum and ribs were negative. He was also scheduled to undergo an MRI Monday.