This post was originally titled “Matt Cassel is over-rated,” which, if you follow me on Twitter, should come as no surprise coming from me. I’ve been openly critical of Cassel ever since he locked up his long-term deal with the team. I started writing this post the week before he was diagnosed with appendicitis, then missed the game against San Diego and we were stuck with Brodie Croyle under center for a game.
Now, I’m not going to say that I thought Croyle was going to do well and I’m not going to say that Cassel would have won the game for KC against San Diego. All that game proved to me was that San Diego is good, Norv Turner annoys me and that Croyle is an utter disaster as both a leader and a quarterback. Also, the play calling in that game was really confusing.Â But I digress…
I’ve had it out for Cassel since the beginning because I haven’t been able to see that he is a great quarterback. He has always been OK, maybe even good, but to call him great seemed like a stretch to me. We’re talking about a guy who never played in college and helped the Patriots when their golden boy went down a few years back. I don’t think there was anything in his resume that suggested he was going to be a high-level performer in the pros.
His statistics suggest otherwise:
- 212/354, 59.5% completion percentage (23rd)
- 24 TDs (7th) to only 5 INTs
- a rating of 98.4 (5th highest in the NFL)
I suppose that despite all that, for him to have the level of success with a bunch of young, not-very-fast, bad hands receivers should impress me. Even with what he’s done through most of the season, I still felt like he missed a half-dozen passes almost every game…easy ones…ones that were critical 3rd-down conversions or would have extended the clock. Now, up to this point, I don’t know how much those misses have been detrimental to the Chiefs’ success. After all, we are leading the AFC West by one game with two to go. If you’d have told me that during the off-season, I would have said, “I’ll take it.”
And Cassel has been solid. Despite those few misses per game, he hasn’t turned the ball over, which, with a rushing attack like the Chiefs’, should be your primary goal.
So here I am, ready to relent my constant online harassment of Matt Cassel. Watching the difference that he made on the field against St. Louis, one week after theÂ embarrassingÂ San Diego loss and I am finally a believer. Call me a Cassel Enthusiast. I hesitated throwing my support behind him until he led the Chiefs to the win in the playoffs that has eluded us since 1993, but I have to pay respect to what the man has accomplished in a season that I all but thought would be another rebuilding year.
So here’s to you, Matt Cassel. I tip my virtual cap to you and wish you well through the rest of this season. I will be rooting for you even harder now that I’m convinced that you’re much better than I thought.