Kevin Kolb did not overwhelm the New England Patriots on Sunday. He probably won’t keep Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo up until all hours of the night this week as he assembles his game plan for next Sunday’s game at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Kolb wasn’t spectacular in the Cardinals improbable 20-18 win in Foxborough, but he was effective. He didn’t light up the scoreboard or the stat sheet, but with the exception of a second quarter fumble, he protected the football. He wasn’t especially accurate, but he made big throws when they counted. He also knew when to throw the ball away and not force it into coverage.
Considering the Cardinals want to be a run first team that relies heavily on its defense, there’s no reason Kolb should not be under center against the Eagles, even if John Skelton is healthy. After all, Kolb is directly responsible for both wins.
Has Skelton done anything to lose the starting quarterback job? Not at all. But he also did nothing in the three-and-a-half quarters of action he saw in Week 1 to put a stranglehold on the position.
I know the popular sentiment is that no starter should lose his job to injury, but if every coach followed that mantra, Tom Brady might not be destined for Canton. I’m not saying Kolb will become Brady, but I do see a winning formula so far.
If Skelton gets credit for finishing strong last season, shouldn’t Kolb get the same consideration for starting strong this year? The one case that can be made for Skelton starting against the Eagles is what he did to them last season — 315 passing yards and three touchdowns in a come-from-behind win. But that was last year. Kolb has the hot hand this season.
No doubt coach Ken Whisenhunt has pushed almost all the right buttons since the middle of last season. I’m not saying he pushed the wrong one by starting the season with Skelton under center, but I do think it would be a mistake to go back to him at this point.