One number has defined much of Kevin Kolb's career in Arizona: $65 million. Yet in Sunday's 27-6 slaughtering of the Philadelphia Eagles, Kolb had a far more minuscule numeral protruding from the box score: zero, as in zero interceptions for the third straight game.
Yes, I realize that's not the most sexy of statistics. But when you have an elite defense like the Arizona Cardinals are currently fielding, there is no number more important.
Before we start assigning labels though, let's refrain from calling Kolb (17-of-24, 222 yards and two touchdowns) a game manager. Kolb wasn't going out there and trying not to lose Sunday; he was doing everything that the coaches were asking from him. And then some.
In the beginning when the game was still competitive, Kolb was accurate and decisive, putting the ball where only his teammates could make a play while orchestrating a handful of gradually effective drives. And that all occurred without the assistance of any sort of ground game as Arizona ball-carriers combined for just 32 yards on 13 attempts in the Cardinals 24-0 first half.
Sure, you could complain that Kolb didn't step on the Eagles throat and build on the lead like a quarterback such as Tom Brady or Matt Ryan would. But that's not how the Cardinals play football and nor should they start.
See, when it comes to expectations for Kolb, this should be the limit. If they start asking him to go out there and win shootouts, fans are going to be treated some disastrous results behind this faulty offensive line. As long as he can continue to get the ball out quickly while putting the ball in the hands of his playmakers (cough, cough Larry Fitzgerald), then the Cardinals will continue with this winning formula.
More than anything though, it was incredibly rewarding to see Kolb and company finally taking advantage of the favorable positions that the defense and special teams units put them in so often. If Kolb can keep this confident composure and maintain a potent attack operating essentially from three-step drops, then there's no reason to think that this team can't continue to hang with the NFL's finest.
And that's a statement we will just file under the "things you never thought would be written about Kevin Kolb following the 2011" department.
For more Arizona Cardinals conversation, head on over to Revenge of the Birds.