Having a major role in back-to-back season opening wins over a division foe and the defending AFC champions will quiet a lot of Kevin Kolb detractors — but not all of them.
ProFootballFocus.com is a website that meticulously grades players on a weekly basis, and let’s just suffice it to say that they weren’t all that impressed with Kolb’s performance even though he was at the controls of a huge upset win.
He may have led (in the loosest possible way) his team to another victory, but this display was exactly what we’ve come to expect from Kevin Kolb (-2.9). He was skittish in the pocket, several times leaving a clean pocket to invite pressure onto him. He showed poor judgment, throwing a late ball to his fullback that could have easily been intercepted. Most of all he was just inaccurate, missing on a variety of passes which brought drives to an end (most notably missing an open Todd Heap for a surefire touchdown with 7:51 to go in Q1). What made it all the more baffling was that he wasn’t making tough throws or challenging close coverage. Only five of his attempts went further than 10 yards in the air, which makes the 55.6% completion percentage all the worse. A victory can often make you ignore it, but this was a deeply uninspiring performance, from a deeply uninspiring player.
PFF points out that only five of Kolb’s 27 passes went more than 10 yards (although I counted six) — and that’s not exactly forcing the issue in the passing game. And considering that Kolb only completed two of those six passes for 23 yards (a QB rating of 45.8), their analysis holds a little water.
But then again, Kolb’s decision to audible for himself at the New England 5-yard line — a play that turned into a crucial touchdown early in the fourth quarter — didn’t get mentioned. Nor did the fact that Kolb didn’t throw an interception in the game and did a nice job of scrambling out of the pocket to avoid sacks. New England dropped him for a loss only one time in the game.
There may be times where Kolb (or John Skelton for that matter) will be asked to throw the ball down the field in a more aggressive manner to keep the Cardinals in a game.
Sunday wasn’t that day. Kolb was asked to manage the football game, and he passed that challenge with flying colors.