After missing a week due to the bye week, I'm ready to go and apparently so were the Chiefs. Kansas City got its first road shutout since 1973 by beating the Raiders 28-0. Of course, this segment isn't about the whole team's performance; it's about Matt Cassel.Let's dive right in and take a look at Cassel's stats:
15 of 30 for 161 yards with 0 TD's and 2 INT's
Negative: Cassel threw a horrendous interception that never should have left his hand. The Chiefs were up by 21 at this point which makes the throw that much more indefensible. Why would you give a team life that has no hope without a couple of turnovers? That's the type of play that can come back to bite a team. Luckily it didn't.
Cassel also forced some throws throughout the game. However, I didn't feel he was totally in the wrong. He had favorable match-ups with Bowe and Breaston and trusted his receivers to make plays, which they occasionally did.
My other issue with Cassel was his accuracy. He only completed 50 percent of his attempts which obviously isn't good enough most weeks. He needs to put the ball on the money with consistency.
Positive: Maybe I'm alone in this, but I felt Cassel played better than his stats indicated.
Cassel was throwing the ball with purpose for most of the game, taking shots and being aggressive. Even if that means a dip in his stats from time-to-time, I love the mindset. Cassel wasn't afraid to fail on Sunday.
I'm also a fan of how he was spreading the ball around. Even though it was Jonathan Baldwin's first game he was seeing the football thrown his way. Dwayne Bowe and Steve Breaston were the main targets as they should be, but Baldwin wasn't forgotten. If the Chiefs are going to make a run at the playoffs, Baldwin will need to make an impact.
My Grade: 70
I realize his stats were bad, but again I felt his play wasn't totally represented by his numbers.
I've had a lot of issues with Cassel this season but outside of one throw I thought he played well. He did his job in a game where it was clear Oakland wasn't going to score much.
Cassel made good throws even on many balls that hit the ground. He was throwing the ball where either his receivers would get it or nobody would. When you have Bowe on your team, that isn't a bad strategy. Throw it up and see what happens, especially against a lousy secondary. That said, Cassel has to make the throws available to him much more than he did against the Raiders.
Matt Cassel was far from perfect on Sunday afternoon. He'll need to be better Monday night against the Chargers.