How Much Faith Do the Kansas City Chiefs Have Left in Matt Cassel?
If you’re a Kansas City Chiefs fan, you probably haven’t liked what you’ve seen out of the crop of quarterbacks since Trent Green retired. Brodie Croyle, Damon Huard, and Tyler Palko were incredibly underwhelming, so the acquisition of Matt Cassel in 2009 seemed like a godsend. He had played in the New England Patriots system and succeeded, and he looked to have the qualities of a dropback passer who could get the ball to star receiver Dwayne Bowe. Two games into the fourth season of Cassel’s 6 year, $63.6 million deal, however, all is not well as the team is 0-2, and Cassel has more turnovers than touchdowns.
A quick search of Cassel’s name on Twitter brings up results such as “I wish he was a Kansas City Royals parking attendant,” “I want to punch Matt Cassel in the face,” and “Is there a quarterback that inspires less confidence when he drops back to pass than Matt Cassel?” Through two games, he has completed 58.7 percent of his passes for 559 yards and 3 touchdowns in addition to 3 interceptions. Additionally, he has a rushing touchdown and 2 fumbles. It should be noted that two of his passing touchdowns to Bowe came after the Chiefs had fallen behind the Buffalo Bills 35-3 and essentially meant nothing. Other than what seems to be an anomaly of a 2010 season that saw Cassel make the Pro Bowl, his touchdown to turnover ratio has been nearly equal in his time with the Chiefs. Not exactly what you pay a guy $10 million a year to do.
Can Romeo Crennel trust Cassel to get the Chiefs their first playoff win since Joe Montana was the quarterback? At this point, I’d have to say no. The San Francisco 49ers have found success by being patient with game manager quarterback Alex Smith, but the Chiefs defense can’t hold a candle to San Francisco’s. Smith has been limiting his turnovers while Cassel is still prone to the same dumb throws and a bad tendency to stay in the pocket too long. If the Chiefs end up in the 7-9 to 8-8 range that they perenially inhabit, they will probably be stuck with Cassel until his contract expires. However, if they keep playing the atrocious football that we’ve seen so far, don’t be surprised if they go after a young quarterback such as Matt Barkley, Tyler Wilson, or Geno Smith with a high pick in the 2013 draft.