The Kansas City Chiefs made the announcement today that Matt Cassel will be the starting quarterback for the upcoming Thursday Night Football match-up against the San Diego Chargers. The reason is that Brady Quinn went down with a head injury against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday afternoon, and apparently he has not been cleared yet. With the short week, that's not a surprise.
Yet it's also clear that no matter if it was Matt Cassel or Brady Quinn, none of this even matters. The two are interchangeable at this point. While Quinn might have a few fans who would beg to differ, it's clear at this point that neither one should be under center next season if whoever is in charge wants to keep the fans -- or their job.
So far in 2012, Matt Cassel has been on a torrid turnover pace that earned him a demotion in the first place. It's rather uncharacteristic for Cassel, who has typically been an efficient quarterback who, while limited in capability, will minimize mistakes. Yet even in when subbing for Quinn, the Chiefs still had 4 total turnovers.
As for Quinn, he's not likely going to be the savior the team needs either. In Quinn's first game for the Chiefs, he had 0 touchdowns to go with 2 interceptions and a stat line that looked like no change had been made. His start before the injury against the Raiders featured more of the same.
If anything, the Chiefs need the running game to do anything offensively and the team rises and falls with the availability of Jamaal Charles. Peyton Hillis has returned from injury so perhaps the tandem can form what Scott Pioli envisioned this offseason, but something was clearly up with Charles' utilization on Sunday.
Joel Thorman at Arrowhead Pride said as much in Tuesday's article announcing Cassel as Thursday's starter. He writes:
Whether it's Cassel or Quinn, the key to the game against the Chargers remains the same -- run the ball. Jamaal Charles only had five carries last week -- eight total touches -- so that will have to change dramatically if the Chiefs are going to have a chance.
Romeo Crennel can try to mix it up at quarterback all he wants but it doesn't matter. They say it is the most important position on the field, but that maxim does not hold true for the Chiefs as currently constructed. Running back is the team's most important position and the best a quarterback can do is to simply not mess it up. Unfortunately that's all the Chiefs quarterbacks have done in 2012.