Throughout last year and the preseason, Kevin Kolb was a very funny joke to anyone who doesn’t live in Arizona. HAHA, look at that quarterback who gets paid a lot of money and really sucks, is what we all said.
Now Kolb and his teammates are doing the laughing. Except for John Skelton, of course, because he might have a bone that’s protruding at an obtuse angle.
Skelton won the most uninspiring quarterback competition in NFL history in August, and was awarded the Cardinals starting job after Kolb averaged 5.5 yards per pass attempt during his flailing preseason job interview. So the Cardinals were cool with having a QB who’s earning $8 million this year sitting comfortably on their bench. In this game that was the appropriate, trendy approach to the backup quarterback, since the Seahawks had Matt Flynn and his $10 million this year looking awesome while holding a clipboard. Budgeting!
So when Skelton was cranked late in the fourth quarter by Bruce Irvin and forced to leave the game with what looks to be a serious ankle injury that requires an aircast, hope wasn’t plentiful. Then something magical happened: Kolb looked confidence and — dare I say it — confident.
He completed six of his eight pass attempts during an 85-yard drive that culminated in a six-yard touchdown pass to Andre Roberts, which was eventually the game-winning score following an incredible finish when Russell Wilson and his Seahawks offense came just short of answering Kolb’s volley in the dying seconds. The final score was 20-16, and those heroics came from a quarterback who entered the game cold, and had a mediocre 81.1 passer rating last year with nearly as many interceptions (eight) than touchdown passes (nine).
And I know, and I get it. Like all the observations made during the opening week based off one game — or in this case, one friggin drive — there’s some brake pumping that needs to happen. But there was a sprinkling of hope here, and a reason for us to dream glorious dreams. If Larry Fitzgerald can still get 1,411 receiving yards with the awful Kolb and the sort of alright Skelton chucking, imagine what he could do if one or both of them could consistently be something that’s not below league average.
I’m not sure we’re ready for that, you guys.