Cardinals vs. Raiders: Kevin Kolb Shows Promise in Arizona's Preseason Opener

Adam Spencer@AdamSpencer4Correspondent IAugust 12, 2011

FLAGSTAFF, AZ - AUGUST 04:  Quarterback Kevin Kolb #4 of the Arizona Cardinals throws a pass during the team training camp at Northern Arizona University on August 4, 2011 in Flagstaff, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

New Arizona Cardinals QB Kevin Kolb showed a lot of potential in the Cardinals' preseason opening 24-18 win against the Oakland Raiders on Thursday night.

Kolb went 4-for-7 passing and had 68 yards.

He also managed to work star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald into the offense more, completing two passes to Fitzgerald for a total of 60 yards.

New tight end Todd Heap also looked good in his limited action, making two catches for 21 yards in his Arizona debut. He'll give Kolb a safety valve to complement Fitzgerald's big play threat.

Overall, Kolb showed off why he was the most coveted QB on the trade or free agent market this offseason, looking very good in a brief period of time.

He also showed off another aspect of his game: He ran the ball twice for 19 yards, including one run of 15 yards that netted a first down.

Kolb's speed is an aspect of QB play that the Cardinals haven't had in a long while. Kurt Warner was never a threat to run and neither were Derek Anderson, John Skelton or Max Hall last season. Now, defenses will have to make sure they keep an eye on Kolb because, while he won't run very often, it's an aspect of his game that can make a difference on third downs.

If Kolb and Fitzgerald develop good chemistry and Kolb can continue making plays with his feet, the Cardinals offense could dynamic this season. A dynamic offense could be all the Cardinals need to get over the top in the weak NFC West that saw the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks take the division crown.

The San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams figure to improve this season, while the Seahawks will probably take a step back under new QB Tarvaris Jackson. But if Kolb is the real deal and Fitzgerald is happy, the Cardinals could leapfrog all three teams in their division and make it back to the playoffs.

With Kolb, the Cardinals can expect 3,500-plus passing yards and more than 20 touchdown passes.

If the running game can keep up, the Cardinals might have the best offense in the NFC West.