Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

Kevin Kolb: The good, the bad, the sacks

Quarterback Kevin Kolb, left, escapes from Buffalo Bills' Mario Williams, right, during a game in October in Glendale, Ariz.(AP Photo/Paul Connors)


By Mark Gaughan

Here’s an oversimplified summation of quarterback Kevin Kolb's relatively brief NFL career: seven good games, six bad games, six mediocre to decent games, a lot of sacks.

Kolb reached agreement on a contract with the Buffalo Bills over the weekend. There has been no comment yet on the deal from the Bills, who do not announce agreements until the signed contract is in hand.

Kolb, who turns 29 in August, has a 9-12 career record as a starter in six NFL seasons. He was sacked 57 times over the past two seasons with Arizona.

In 2011, he ranked second in the league to Tim Tebow by getting sacked on 10.6 percent of his drop backs. In 2012, he led the league (for QBs with at least 100 attempts) with sacks on 12.9 percent of his drop backs. (Historical point of reference: Rob Johnson was sacked on 14.2 percent of his dropbacks when he played for the Bills.)

Here’s a capsule review of his significant playing time: 

2009: Went 1-1 as a starter for Philadelphia, playing in place of Donovan McNabb. He was QB for a 48-22 loss to New Orleans and a 34-14 win over Kansas City. Kolb hit 24 of 34 passes for 327 yards and two TDs against the Chiefs.

2010: He won the starting job to open the season but got knocked out of the season opener against Green Bay when he suffered a concussion on a sack. Michael Vick took over for Kolb and proceeded to put a stranglehold on the QB job, producing a Pro Bowl campaign and leading the Eagles to the playoffs. Kolb did make four starts in relief of Vick, going 2-2. He directed a 27-24 win over San Francisco and a 31-17 win over Atlanta. He was 21 of 31 for 253 yards against the Niners and 23 of 29 for 326 yards against the Falcons. After a 37-19 loss to Tennessee, Vick came back to the lineup.

2011: Kolb was traded to Arizona in the offseason and opened the season as the starter. He passed for 309 yards in a 28-21 win over Carolina in the season opener. He started the next six games – all losses – before going down with a foot injury. Kolb put up decent numbers in four of the six games, and four of the defeats came by a total of 11 points. But he was sacked 25 times in those six games. He came back to start a Week 12 game against Dallas, and passed for 249 yards in a 19-13 Cardinals upset. But then he suffered a concussion early in the next game.

2012: Kolb lost out to John Skelton in a training camp competition. But Skelton was injured in the season opener. Kolb helped Arizona beat New England, 20-18, thanks to a great defensive effort by the Cards. Kolb had only 140 passing yards. He then directed victories over Philadelphia and Miami. He passed for 324 yards and three TDs against the Dolphins. The next week was a poor showing in a loss to the Rams. Then he was KO’d for the season in an overtime loss to the Bills. Kolb passed for only 128 yards in the game but rushed for 66. The Bills probably were fortunate Kolb was knocked out. Skelton played poorly in relief, hitting just 2 of 10 passes and threw a game-deciding interception in overtime.


Kevin Kolb
comments powered by Disqus

About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |