FOXBORO -- There's a lot at stake for Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb Sunday in Foxboro. Beaten out in camp by John Skelton for the starting position Kolb was handpickedin 2011 to assume, Kolb got a second chance in the season opener. In the fourth quarter against the Seahawks, Skelton sprained an ankle, Kolb came in and went 6-for-8 for 66 yards and directed the game-winning drive. "He just got in rhythm and ripped some balls in there," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told the media. "We were all over every one of those throws. He is a gunslinger, he has always been like that. He just came in and was shooting from the hip and did a great job."
Kolb, who was acquired last season by Arizona in exchange for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick, was given a deal worth a potential 63 million.But hecouldn't hold off the metronomically effectiveSkelton. But with Skelton down, nowKolb'steammates hope to see more of the Kolb from last Sunday - the one they expected all along - to show up against the Patriots. Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated writes that safety Adrian Wilson wants Kolb to know how lucky he is to have another shot. "I hope it was very humbling for him," Wilson said, per Trotter. "I hope he understands what he has to do from this point forward. He has to play with that same type of edge all the time. It's not something that you do sometimes. It's an all-the-time thing. He had an OK preseason and didn't win the job, so now he has something to prove. There's a different level of 'want to.' So I hope it was very humbling for him."
NEW ORLEANS - Devonta Freeman practically wore out the Superdome turf with one long gain after another, Tevin Coleman wouldn't be denied near the goal line and the New Orleans Saints hardly looked like the team that made an emotional homecoming nearly 10 years ago to the day.
Cheers turned to boos, and many fans filed out early.
Coleman rushed for three touchdowns, Matt Ryan passed for two TDs and Deion Jones returned an interception 90 yards for a score to help the Atlanta Falcons beat the winless New Orleans Saints 45-32 on Monday night.
"It was real fun. Everybody was doing their job and everybody was playing for each other," Coleman said. "Everything clicked, and we got it done. It's a real big win for us to beat this team here."
The game coincided with New Orleans' celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the Saints' memorable return to the Superdome on Sept. 25, 2006, 13 months after Hurricane Katrina. But there would be no reprise of New Orleans' dominant and emotional 23-3 triumph over Atlanta a decade ago.
The Saints' depleted defense struggled to slow Freeman, who rushed for 152 yards and caught five passes for 55 yards. Coleman also was effective in the passing game out of the backfield, with three receptions for 47 yards to go with his 42 yards rushing.
"We have to stop the run better," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "They were over 200 yards in situations where you knew the run was coming, even at the end of the game."
Ryan finished with 240 yards passing for Atlanta (2-1), which did not turn the ball over and moved into sole possession of first place in the NFC South.
Drew Brees put up his usual big numbers - 376 yards and three TDs passing - and hit tight end Coby Fleener seven times for 109 yards and a TD. But Brees' tipped pass that resulted in Jones' TD return early in the fourth quarter gave the Falcons a 45-25 lead that proved too much for New Orleans to overcome.
Devin McCourty says the early season results show the New England Patriots have bought in to what the coaches are saying