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Kevin Kolb's performance should make Bills' QB decision easier

By Tim Graham

It took 5:56 of game time and two pass attempts for Kevin Kolb to hear his first boos in a Buffalo Bills uniform.

Ralph Wilson Stadium let Kolb have it after he threw an early interception in his preseason debut tonight against the Minnesota Vikings.

That's not the first time Kolb has been booed in his life, and that wasn't the last.

Because the Kid's Day crowd let him hear it early in the second quarter, too. By halftime, however, both Kolb and the crowd were feeling warmer.

In what could be Kolb's only legitimate game-like chance to prove he should be the Bills' starting quarterback instead of rookie EJ Manuel, the veteran did not distinguish himself until late in the second quarter.

Kolb played the entire first half. He completed 13 of 21 passes for 111 yards and no touchdowns with an interception for an uninspiring 55.9 passer rating. Seven of his completions were for 5 yards or less.

Kolb completed only three of his first eight attempts for 17 yards. His interception elicited the early jeers.

He threw to tightly covered receiver Marquise Goodwin. Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes swatted the ball into the air, and it fell into safety Jamarca Sanford's hands.

Kolb found his rhythm against the Vikings' defensive reserves late in the second quarter.

He completed all but one of his eight attempts for 49 yards, driving the Bills to a 39-yard Dustin Hopkins field goal. Then, taking over with 38 seconds on the clock, Kolb connected on three of his five throws for 45 yards to set up a 35-yard Hopkins field goal.

When Manuel was announced as the Bills' quarterback to start the third quarter, the crowd cheered.


Dustin Hopkins | EJ Manuel | Kevin Kolb | Marquise Goodwin
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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 |