The Minnesota Vikings have announced that quarterback Matt Cassel will make his third start of the season when the team takes on the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. There’s no question this is an incredibly smart move by Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier, especially after Cassel picked apart the Chicago Bears in Week 13.
“What he did in the second half of that ballgame on Sunday, and also, seeing his comfort level with where we are, and having a comfort level with him, as well,” Frazier told the Minneapolis Star Tribune when asked about why Cassel is starting. “But his work on Sunday has a lot to do with it. He did an outstanding job in the second half of that ballgame against Chicago.”
Cassel entered the game after starter Christian Ponder went down with a concussion. He orchestrated two drives that ended with a score to send the contest into overtime. Even when everything seemed to be going against Cassel and the Vikings, he found a way to overcome adversity and give his team an opportunity to win.
Obviously, the Vikings are hoping Cassel can keep the mistakes to a minimal, while continuing to convert clutch passes. At this point, Minnesota will be successful if he can simply make enough necessary throws to the move the chains. All the passing game really needs to do is keep the defense honest so that running back Adrian Peterson can tear it up on the ground.
The 31-year-old completed 48 passes for 489 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in his two previous starts this season.