FanPost

Is Cassel a Super Bowl Quarterback?

First and foremost, I don't care if Matt Cassel ever wins an MVP award.   I only want him to be a Super Bowl winning quarterback.  My honest opinion about Matt Cassel is that we will never win a Super Bowl BECAUSE of him (a la Peyton Manning), but he can help guide the Chiefs to a ring.  So I've compiled the regular season statistics of the past 20 Super Bowl winning quarterbacks and compared them to Cassel.  The results surprised me.

First, it's important to note that many of the quarterbacks listed below did not play a full 16 game schedule.  I put an asterisk next to these quarterbacks' names.  I then calculated what their numbers would have been had they played an entire season at the same performance level.  This includes Matt's 2010 season, as he only played in 15 games.  

Year

Quarterback

Comp

Att.

%

YDS

TD

INT

2010

Aaron Rodgers

312

475

65.7

3922

28

11

2009

Drew Brees

363

514

70.6

4388

34

11

2008

Ben Roethlisberger

281

469

59.9

3301

17

15

2007

Eli Manning

297

529

56.1

3336

23

20

2006

Peyton Manning

362

557

65

4397

31

9

2005

Ben Roethlisberger*

224

357

62.7

3180

23

12

2004

Tom Brady

288

474

60.8

3692

28

14

2003

Tom Brady

317

527

60.2

3620

23

12

2002

Brad Johnson*

346

555

62.3

3753

27

7

2001

Tom Brady*

282

441

63.9

3033

19

13

2000

Trent Dilfer*

268

452

59.3

3004

24

22

1999

Kurt Warner

325

499

65.1

4353

41

13

1998

John Elway*

258

438

59

3454

27

12

1997

John Elway

280

502

55.8

3635

27

11

1996

Brett Favre

325

543

59.9

3899

39

13

1995

Troy Aikman

280

432

64.8

3304

16

7

1994

Steve Young

324

461

70.3

3969

35

10

1993

Troy Aikman*

310

448

69.1

3543

17

7

1992

Troy Aikman

302

473

63.8

3445

23

14

1991

Mark Rypien

249

421

59.1

3564

28

11

 Average

300

478

62.7

3640

27

12

 Minimum

224

357

55.8

3004

16

22

2009

Matt Cassel

271

493

55

2924

16

16

2010

Matt Cassel*

279

480

58.2

3324

27

7

Conclusions

There are, of course, a few rock stars in the group that one could argue dramatically increase the statistical expectations.  But there are also a few quarterbacks that, while they may make great NFL analysts (cough, Trent Dilfer), did not have statistical seasons that quarterbacks dream about. So all in all, I think it evens out.

Cassel's attempts are surprisingly above the average of a Super Bowl quarterback.  This really shocked me as we have the number 1 rushing game in the NFL and are clearly a run-first team.  His completions, however, are about 30 less than the average QB on this list.  Who knows, maybe the addition of Baldwin and McCluster/Urban's health improvements will increase Cassel's number of completions.  

The biggest area for improvement in my opinion (along with most Cassel critics on AP) is his completion percentage.  If he can bump it up 3 or 4 percent he will be a much more effective quarterback.  Can he do it?  I sure hope so.  

He really did well on the TD and INT numbers.  Perhaps this is also why his completion percentage is low.  Last year if he had to get it in a tight spot that might be picked off, Cassel would throw the ball away.  Let's say he threw away 3 balls a game (48 total passes), and let's say that if he tried to get those to receivers in tight spots, he completed half of these (24 total passes).  This would have bumped his completion percentage up to 59.4%, but most likely he would have thrown another 3-6 interceptions too.  I'm assuming this is a trade off that Haley doesn't want Cassel to make.  So it will be interesting to see if Cassel's completion percentage goes up again this year.  If it does, I'd assume it is because of better receivers and personal improvement on Cassel's behalf, and not because he is taking more risks.  

It looks like Cassel's numbers are on the low end across the board, but pretty close to the middle of the pack.  If he continues to improve as he did last year, he'd be looking at a completion percentage at about 61.5 and an increase in yards of 400.  That would put him right in the middle.  Of course, using this same logic he'd also be on pace to throw negative 1 interceptions this year, so projected stats shouldn't be too heavily relied on.  

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.

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