Jennifer Hilderbrand-US PRESSWIRE

New England Patriots to face Kevin Kolb


When the New England Patriots take on the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, the Pats will be matching up against Kevin Kolb at quarterback instead of John Skelton. The previous Cards starter was injured in the team’s 20-16 victory over the Seattle Seahawks, and Pro Football Talk reported that he is expected to miss 2-4 weeks.

Kolb is a quarterback with a high degree of accuracy, but he has a terrible deep ball and is a clear WCO quarterback. There’s a reason why he lost out on the starting QB gig to Skelton, even though he might actually be better than Skelton skill-wise. Kolb just doesn’t fit the Cardinals offense well, and he is terrible under pressure.

What makes his drop in effectiveness against the blitz even worse is the fact that he has two inexperienced tackles in D’Anthony Batiste and Bobby Massie blocking for him. Daryn Colledge may be a great run blocker, but the only solid pass protector that the Cards have is underrated center Lyle Sendlein.

Chandler Jones should have a monster game against Batiste after doing a more than credible job against the steady Michael Roos. Kolb will not be able to test the Patriots deep, which is a plus for us since the Pats secondary is prone to getting burned. However, the defensive backs do a good job covering short and intermediate routes.

After a big game against the Tennessee Titans, Tavon Wilson is quickly establishing himself as the best coverage safety on the Patriots. He will be in line for another big day against Kolb and the Cardinals, especially when Jones gets in his face and makes him uncomfortable. The Cardinals will also have a rough time accounting for a free blitz from Kyle Arrington, so the match-up looks great for the Pats heading into Week 2.

Kolb has terrific accuracy and isn’t as bad as I am making him out to be, but his terrible pocket presence behind that putrid line makes for a mixture that yields to inconsistency. He actually has the physical tools to be a starting quarterback in this league, the problem is that the situation he is in does not fit his skill-set best. It’s all about match-ups, and the Patriots should take advantage of this one.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.

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