We're going to take a look at some of the passing numbers for Matt Cassel last week in the Kansas City Chiefs 35-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills. We're looking at his numbers passing to the left, middle and center. We'll also take it one step farther and look at those same numbers with passes greater than or equal to 10 yards, and passes shorter than 10 yards. I'm not talking about run-after-catch yards either, these numbers are strictly the distance the ball was attempted down-field from the line of scrimmage.
Passing to the left
Matt Cassel attempted 17 passes to his left, or his back/blindside if that's how you want to look at this scenario. He finished 9-17 for 114 yards. That's good for a 6.7 yards per attempt, but I take it one step farther with a stat that I'm not sure I've seen before. I calculated the distance in which passes were attempted downfield, which to the left comes out to an average of 12.8 yards down-field per attempt. This obviously includes incomplete passes and drops, but takes out the run after catch which then gives us an idea of how far Cassel is making sure the defense defends down the field. If these numbers are bad week in and week out then maybe defenses won't worry about covering certain areas. We'll be able to compare these numbers all season long.
Cassel was 3-7 for 73 yards on passes to his left that were 10 yards or more down the field, and 6-10 for 41 yards on passes that were less than 10 yards to his left.
Passing to the middle
Cassel attempted eight passes to the middle of the field and finished 5-8 for 70 yards. Two big plays across the middle helped with these numbers on a 19-yard pass play to Dwayne Bowe and then the 27-yard pass play to Kevin Boss. These eight passes accounted for 96 yards attempted down the field. That's good for 12 yards per down-field attempt, which is just .8 yards less per attempt than we did to the left.
Cassel was 2-4 for 46 yards on passes across the middle that were attempted more than 10 yards down the field, which are the two plays I described above. He finished 3-4 for 24 yards on pass plays that were attempted across the middle for less than 10 yards down the field.
Passing to the right
Cassel finished 9-14 for 117 yards on passes to the right. That's good for 8.3 yards per attempt with the stat we normally use for attempted passes. Taking out incomplete passes and calculating the yardage per play that was attempted to the right, it's just over 14.1 yards down-field per attempt.
Cassel was 2-6 for 43 yards on passes to the right that were attempted more than 10 yards down the field, and finished 7-8 for 74 yards on passes attempted less than 10 yards down the field to the right. That's obviously where he feels most comfortable. Four of those completions went to Bowe, one to McCluster, Draughn and Hillis.
Cassel finished 7/17 on passes attempted farther than 10 yards down the field and 16-22 on passes attempted for less than 10 yards down the field. There were three passes that I didn't include because they were just thrown away. This will give you a rough idea on how Cassel was throwing to different areas of the field. It's something we can take a look at each week (or every few weeks) just to see if they're making any adjustments.
Hopefully everything looks better against the New Orleans Saints.