Matt Cassel just had the game of his career this past Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts. He finished the game going 21/29 for 257 yards and four touchdowns. He may have had better statistical games in the past, but he looked better in this game than his entire time as a member of the Chiefs. Not even two weeks removed from the "Suck For Luck" media firestorm that swept its' way through Kansas City, Matt Cassel goes out there for the second week in a row and shows Chiefs fans that he still gives them the best chance at winning on Sundays. He might not have won back every Chiefs fan with this performance. But if nothing else this should slow down the "Start Ricky Stanzi right now" movement that has invaded some Chiefs circles.
Cassel struggled in the two blowout losses to Buffalo and Detroit to open up the season. Throw in a game-ending interception against San Diego and a lot of fans were ready to run him out of town. Now, coming off consecutive good games for the first time since weeks 11 and 12 last year, it seems as if Cassel may have figured something out and given Chiefs fans a reason to put the pitchforks down. At least for a little while.
Some credit needs to go to the coaching staff for adding some down-the-field passing plays to the game plan against the Colts. Whether it was Haley, Muir, Zorn or some combination, there’s been a difference in Cassel over the last two weeks and that’s due in part to his ability to get the ball down field against the Vikings last week, and the Colts on Sunday. Cassel’s YPA against the Colts was 8.9, a far cry from the 3.31 (Buffalo) and 6.05 (Detroit).
Cassel is in his third year in Kansas City and he has a 9-3 record when his YPA is over 7 for the game. So when the Chiefs are attempting to push the ball down field, they are having success. I don’t know whether or not the plays being called now are the same ones that were being called earlier in the season and Cassel is just attempting these longer passes now, rather than constantly checking down. But the Chiefs are having success through the air right now and it'll need to continue for them to be successful the rest of the season.
It should be noted that Cassel’s two ‘good’ games in a row are against teams that are a combined 0-8 on the season. But he still played well against those teams and that’s what he’s expected to do right? He’s gone a combined 39/58 with five touchdowns and no interceptions over the last two weeks. That’s a 67% completion percentage. These two games don’t mean that Cassel is going to turn into Tom Brady for the rest of the season, but he’s looked more Tom Brady than Brady Quinn recently and that's a good thing. .
It wasn't just that he had a good game and that the Chiefs won. Although this was a crucial game for the Chiefs in this young season and it came on the road against a defense with two very good pass rushers. It's that he brought the team back from a 17-point deficit late in the second quarter to win the game. The Chiefs were trailing 17-0 when a 41-yard touchdown pass to Dwayne Bowe got the Chiefs on the board at 17-7 with five minutes remaining in the first half. Three touchdowns later and the Chiefs had the victory and Cassel had a lot to be excited about. via usatoday.com
"This is a big win, a step in the right direction," Cassel said. "We kept our focus, and you could see the end result was very positive for us."
It’s true that the bad games are far more memorable for Chiefs fans recently in regards to Cassel than the good ones. But we do need to try and remember these good games as well. Because after every bad game it’s popular to say that Cassel needs to be on the next bus out of town but for some reason after a good game it’s never that Cassel needs to stay. I don’t think this type of thinking is strictly related to Matt Cassel and the Chiefs. The grass is always greener and yada, yada, yada. But Cassel just played the game of his career in Kansas City and that shouldn't go unnoticed.
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