The Arizona Cardinals are 4-0 — thanks and no thanks to Kevin Kolb.
On one hand Kolb was awful, throwing two bad interceptions, including a dreadful decision while going for the kill-shot in the fourth quarter.
The Cardinals were facing a second and goal from inside the Dolphins five-yard line when Kolb rolled to his right and tried to force a throw into Larry Fitzgerald in the end zone. The problem was Fitz got knocked down by Sean Smith, meaning Smith was the last man standing (figuratively speaking), and he wound up with the ball.
Kolb called it, “the worst throw of my career.”
And it couldn’t have come at a worse time as a 14-13 lead turned quickly into a 21-14 deficit with 7:05 left in the fourth quarter after Ryan Tannehill connected with Brian Hartline on an 80-yard touchdown pass.
They say timing is everything, and at times on Sunday Kolb was absolutely spectacular.
Despite being sacked eight times and having no running game to work with, Kolb guided an improbable game-tying drive with just 22 seconds left in regulation. The drive began back at midfield thanks to a Tannehill fumble.
Kolb was sacked on the first two plays from scrimmage before hitting Andre Roberts on two fourth down plays. One was a nine-yard completion, the other, was a 15-yard touchdown strike following three straight incompletions.
“I’d say that was probably the best pass of my career,” Kolb said after the 24-21 victory.
Earlier in the fourth, Kolb found Roberts for a 46-yard touchdown.
Kolb also helped get the Cardinals in position for Jay Feely’s game-winning 46-yard field goal in overtime.
By most accounts, Kolb did not have a good day, and would’ve been crushed by many fans and talking heads had the Cardinals lost.
The defense also struggled. I mean, how do you allow a rookie quarterback playing in a ball-control offense to light you up for 431 yards, including 253 to Brian Hartline (whom I’m guessing many fantasy owners are kicking themselves for not starting today)?
Yeah, but at least they forced four turnovers including two late that had a direct result on the outcome.
The defense played a huge role in the win. So did Kolb. He shook off the sacks, the pitiful running game and the bad throws to lead four second half scoring drives. He didn’t fold. He didn’t pout. He didn’t complain or point fingers at a certain right tackle.
He wound up throwing for 324 yards and three touchdowns. His quarterback rating was 84.
Head coach Ken Whisenhunt called him “a fighter and a competitor.”
Kolb just did what he’s been doing for four consecutive weeks — helped the Cardinals win a football game.
Coming up on Thursday in St. Louis, he’ll try to do the same.