The Matt Cassel Report Card

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 31: Kicker Matt Succop #6 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates with teammates after kicking a game-winning field goal in overtime to win the game against the San Diego Chargers on October 31, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

I couldn't help but use the picture above....sweet.

Now, onto the article. The Chiefs played a wild game on Monday and pulled themselves into a share of first place in the AFC West. Matt Cassel was a big part of the win and yet turned the ball over three times.

Let's take a look at Matt Cassel's stat line:

19-32 for 261 yards with 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions

 

Negative: Cassel turned the ball over twice on Kansas City's side of the field. It's hard to totally get on him however because the interception was a dropped ball and the fumble was not a fumble. The part that bothers me about the interception is where he threw it. The pass was forced into a tight space to a rookie receiver. I like how Cassel showed moxie and confidence but that play could've been a killer.

Cassel also missed some open throws, especially early. Twice he had Dwayne Bowe wide open and missed him on medium-length plays. It's inexcusable to miss easy throws in the NFL. Cassel also missed Breaston in the 3rd quarter on what would have been about a 25-yard gain. Those plays add up.

 

Positive: Cassel made a beautiful throw on the touchdown to Jonathan Baldwin. It was high and right on time for Baldwin to reach up and snatch it away from the smaller defensive back. Give the offensive line a ton of credit on that play too, Cassel had all day.

He also made it happen when the Chiefs needed him the most. I was extremely impressed on the 3rd and 14 in overtime when Cassel hit Breaston on that crossing route in the face of a blitz. He read the coverage, saw the blitz, and made an absolutely perfect throw allowing Breaston to keep his speed and get the first down.

The most important thing that he did Monday was something all of us have been screaming for: he scanned the field. Cassel didn't just lock onto one receiver. Instead he went through his progressions and made the correct throw more often than not. It was a great thing to see from Cassel and hopefully it continues.

 

My Grade: 80

 

I know his stat line shows that he doesn't deserve a B-, but I thought he passed the eye test very well. Cassel made me feel like the team could come down and win the game on his arm, and ultimately they did. He wasn't perfect but Cassel played with poise and confidence throughout the evening. With all kinds of communication issues and interesting play calling (could we have been more predictable?) he still got the job done.

Make no mistake, the defense won this game and that botched snap didn't hurt either. However, Cassel played a solid game that led to Kansas City being atop the division. If he can limit his interceptions as he did last year and continue to play solid football, the Chiefs have a chance to be in the playoffs.

After 0-3, who would've ever imagined? (Except Le'Ron McClain).

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