Cardinals vs. Patriots: New England Defense Will Destroy Kevin Kolb

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 16, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 09:  Quarterback Kevin Kolb #4 of the Arizona Cardinals walks off the field after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 20-19 in the season opener at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 9, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Kevin Kolb's shot at redemption will not go according to plan when he faces the New England Patriots today in Week 2 of the NFL season.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that the beleaguered quarterback will get the start after John Skelton was carted off the field with an ankle injury in last week's game against the Seattle Seahawks. Kolb came in and completed 6-of-8 passes, including the game-winning touchdown to Andre Roberts.

Unfortunately, that has not been enough for the organization to gain confidence in the veteran. The Arizona Cardinals traded away cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick to acquire Kolb from the Philadelphia Eagles. The quarterback then immediately agreed to a six-year, $63 million contract.

Needless to say, he has not lived up to expectations in his short time with the team.

Kolb lost his job last season after leading the Cardinals to a 2-6 record (excluding his Week 14 appearance in which he threw only one pass). In each of those six losses, he threw at least one interception. 

This is bad news for Sunday's matchup against the Patriots. Even when allowing a lot of yards, New England has consistently been one of the most opportunistic teams in the NFL.

The Patriots had 23 interceptions last season, which was tied for second in the league. They allowed the second-most yards, but were in the middle of the pack in points allowed due to the unit's ability to force a turnover.

What makes matters worse for Kolb is the Patriots' newest additions. New England's first three picks in the 2012 draft were all defenders and have already made a positive impact.

Defensive end Chandler Jones had five tackles, a sack and a forced fumble against the Tennessee Titans in Week 1, while linebacker Dont'a Hightower recovered that fumble and returned it for a touchdown. Second-round pick Tavon Wilson also added an interception in the win.

These rookies have transformed the Patriots' defense into one of the better units in the league. The Titans were only able to manage 13 points, mostly because they could only muster 20 rushing yards on 16 carries.

After averaging 2.2 yards per carry against the Seahawks, Arizona should also not count on too much help from its rushing game. This puts the pressure squarely on the shoulders of Kolb, and it is unlikely he will be able to live up to the task.

The Cardinals must travel across the country and play a 1 p.m. ET game against arguably the best team in the league. It will take a superhuman effort by Kolb to help his team pull the upset.

Based on what he has shown in the past, he will not even have an average performance to keep his team close.