The NFC West was among the weaker divisions in the NFL last season, yet the Cardinals went from the top to the bottom.
That's mainly because they went 1-5 in a bad division, winning only the season opener against the Rams.
The two losses to the Seahawks highlighted the team's struggles at quarterback, a problem they hoped to have solved by the acquisition of Kevin Kolb. That deal was made with games like Sunday's, in Seattle, in mind.
In two games, Kolb has performed as the Cardinals had hoped. Even though the Cardinals lost to the Redskins, Kolb showed the toughness and skill that made him attractive to the Cardinals.
His 73-yard touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald was a thing of beauty. Kolb hung in the pocket, knowing he was likely to get hit because the Redskins were blitzing.
He delivered the ball despite getting leveled and losing his helmet.
That kind of play gives the Cardinals a better chance of winning than they had last year.
A year ago, the Cardinals started Max Hall in Seattle, and he was over-matched. With competent play at quarterback, the Cardinals could have won that game and others. Instead the Seahawks swept both games and won the division with a 7-9 record.
So far, Kolb has been everything the Cardinals had hoped. He's been steady, efficient and a leader in the locker room.
It's clear he's willing to put in the time off the field to be successful. His two touchdown passes against Carolina came off blitz reads. Short passes resulted in touchdowns of 48 and 70 yards.
It's easy to dismiss those plays as dump-offs and give most of the credit to the receivers who scored. But it was Kolb who identified the blitzes coming and threw to the correct receivers.
And it's important to note that in 2010, the Cardinals had just three pass plays of more than 40 yards.
Cardinals' Kolb everything team expected
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