Dolphins vs. Cardinals: Kolb Comes Through Late as Dolphins Defeat Themselves
The Arizona Cardinals' 500th career franchise victory ended in wild fashion. It was a back-and-forth type of game for Ken Whisenhunt's Cardinals.
At halftime they found themselves in a 13-0 hole; then they managed to fight back and tie the game at 14. Shortly after that, Kevin Kolb throws a pick and Miami jumps out 21-14 with less than a minute left to go. Kolb then sends the game to overtime with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Andre Roberts. And finally, Jay Feely hits a 46-yard field goal to win it in overtime after a Ryan Tannehill interception.
Arizona's defense didn't look like their usual selves considering they gave up 480 yards of total offense, yet they forced key turnovers in key situations. The Dolphins offense turned the ball over a total of four times all together. They fumbled the ball away twice, and the rookie Tannehill threw two other interceptions.
Adrian Wilson's return in the secondary proved to be huge as he recorded 10 tackles, two of them for a loss, and two quarterback hits. Not to mention he almost had himself an interception in the third quarter, but the officials ruled that he didn't maintain possession through the process.
Even though it wasn't the prettiest defensive performance, turnovers usually decide the game, and Sunday was no different. The Cardinals were lucky that their two offensive blunders didn't come back to sink them, like it did Miami.
Kolb was on the hook for both of the Cards' giveaways. His first interception was intended for Larry Fitzgerald along the right side. But a poorly thrown ball allowed cornerback Sean Smith to undercut the route for his first interception of the season. The 31-yard return helped set up a 27-yard Dan Carpenter field goal.
No. 4's second interception was again poached by Smith, but this time it had greater impact. On the very next play offensive coordinator Mike Sherman called a play-action pass that resulted in Tannehill hitting Brian Hartline for 80 yards down the left sideline. The fact the Dolphins capitalized on both turnovers helped keep them in the game.
However, as I mentioned above, Kolb went from zero to hero in just a matter of minutes. Two of his three second-half touchdown passes came in the fourth quarter, and he did just enough to propel Arizona to victory for the fourth week in a row.
If you take into account he was sacked eight times and hit a total of 10 times, I'm surprised he held up the way he did. After a performance like this, it's safe to say he has shed the label of being "skittish" in the pocket. Very few quarterbacks stand tall in the pocket and deliver the game-winning strike the way he did today.
The Cardinals have a short turnaround as they travel to St. Louis to take on the 2-2 Rams on Thursday Night Football. The NFC West has proved to be the black and blue division of the NFL so far this season, and Thursday should be no different.
Arizona is hoping Darnell Dockett can return to the defensive line Thursday night, because without him they are a much less effective unit.
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