CLEVELAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Quarterback Matt Cassel #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs throws to a receiver against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on September 19 2010 in Cleveland Ohio. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
In a new weekly series following each game, I will evaluate Matt Cassel's performance. This won't be a play-by-play, 2000 word breakdown but rather an overall view within the scope of the game. I'll give a grade from 0-100 on Cassel, with 100 of course being the highest. Just like in school, a 90-100 is an A, etc. A grade of 65 is terrible, but still passing. Without further adu...
In Friday night's game against Baltimore, Cassel's stats were as follows:
6-14 for 73 yards. 0 TD and O INT.
Negative: Cassel, as his stats indicate was very pedestrian versus the Ravens. For the most part, Cassel had pretty good protection but still failed to complete half of his passes. Moeaki did drop a pass, as did Jones, but the latter of the two was partially Cassel's fault for not putting some touch on the pass.
Cassel also locked on to Dwayne Bowe throughout the contest. It often appeared that if the first read wasn't there he would try to force the issue. This almost led to an interception once. However, the ball was dropped and disaster was averted.
The Chiefs didn't take any shots downfield either. I wonder if that's because they don't feel Cassel can make the throw, or if it's because of play-calling, so I won't crush him for that.
Positive: Even though Bowe was often the target, the duo made beautiful music a few times. The one play that sticks out was a pass down the far sideline in the first quarter. Rookie CB Jimmy Smith had excellent coverage on Bowe, but Caseel threw put it right on him for a 26 yard gain. The thing that really impressed me about the throw was Cassel's confidence to let it go and trust himself and his receiver. He had a very tight window to place the ball, and put it right on the money.
My Grade: 75 --- Average, but not good enough for the starting quarterback on a playoff caliber team.
In fairness, it's very hard to evaluate Cassel in a preseason game. There were virtually no men-in-motion and the offensive packages were very vanilla. Charles barely got in the game, so that's another weapon not at Cassel's disposal.
My biggest takeaways from this game are easy. Bowe and Cassel will continue to have a great chemistry, and Cassel still doesn't look at all of his options enough. We'll see as time goes on if this was because he was rusty or if it's a bigger issue.
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