Kevin Kolb may be locked in to a quarterback battle with John Skelton right now, but he has one thing on his side. Despite what many (including myself) would consider a subpar season from him in 2011, his first with the Cardinals, he actually was very strong in one particular category.
You see, when Larry Fitzgerald is your primary target on offense, you tend to go to him as often as possible. And when that happens, if the throw is decent, he is going to catch the ball 99.9% of the time. So on deep routes, even if the ball is overthrown a bit, Fitz is going to catch it. That is why Kolb led all quarterback in out route accuracy last season.
Now, you may be thinking to yourself 'how are players like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, etc. not ahead of Kevin Kolb?' Well, it does seem a bit weird, but it's the truth.
Kolb completed 43 of his 54 out route throwing attempts last season, good for 11.2 yards per attempt and 603 total yards. Skelton, with the same receivers, is nowhere to be seen on the list.
The weirdest part of it all is that Fitz was only targeted 17 times on his out routes, according to Pro Football Focus. He caught 13 of the balls thrown his way for 210 yards. That leaves players like Andre Roberts, Early Doucet, Todd Heap, Rob Housler, Jeff King and others to make up the 393 yard difference.
What that means is that it wasn't just Fitzgerald making magic all the time. Kolb was forced to make plays and, more than any QB in the league, he did just that on deep balls.
Will this help him eventually win the job? It could help add to his resume, but it won't be the deciding factor. Still, I expect him to win it and if he does end up being the starting quarterback, keep an eye out for his deep throws next season. I'll bet he won't disappoint.