Going into week five, the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks are tied for second, both with records of 1-3, in a very sad West division of the National Football Conference. The teams’ respective quarterbacks, Kevin Kolb and Tarvaris Jackson, have come out west to try their hand at being starters in the NFL, and despite their teams’ sub-par performances, they are not total busts. Both have completion rates over 60 percent and have thrown more touchdowns than interceptions. Despite each having only one good season under his belt, Kolb and Jackson have demonstrated that they are not pushovers.
This past Sunday, Jackson had a breakout game in a very close 30-28 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Jackson, who had 319 passing yards and three touchdowns, overshadowed opposing quarterback Matt Ryan, who threw only one touchdown. Jackson has shown a profound ability to work with almost every receiver on the team, averaging nine different targets per game — well more than most quarterbacks. However, no Seahawks receiver has more than 200 yards on the season. Wide receivers Sidney Rice and rookie Doug Baldwin are the only Seahawks that have over 100 receiving yards, while Ben Obomanu, Mike Williams and Golden Tate have only 198 yards combined.
That said, all five have caught a touchdown pass from Jackson. Jackson also has 61 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown, leading me to believe that he can be a mobile force similar to a watered-down Michael Vick.
Kolb is the only quarterback in the NFC West with over 1,000 yards passing thus far. Instead of involving his entire receiving corps in every game, Kolb has picked his favorites, hooking up for 361 yards and two touchdowns with wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, while recording 217 passing yards and one touchdown to wide receiver Early Doucet. Unlike Jackson, Kolb has also done a great job incorporating both of his tight ends, Todd Heap and Jeff King. Heap has 150 receiving yards and King has 100 yards and two touchdowns.
Kolb and Jackson have proven that they have what it takes to make it as starting quarterbacks in the NFL. Kolb, however, has outshone Jackson with his ability to establish true threats in his targets and is making a case for why he should be considered the best quarterback in the NFC West.
<i> Ondo is a member of the class of 2014. <i/>