I am just gonna say it. I think Matt Cassel has a career year this year. I have many reasons after watching some of the games over the last couple years and some of the games from NE. If you look back he has had very little talent or stability around him. Especially last year. Say what you want but he went to the pro bowl in 2010. Yes he was an alternate, so what he was still a top 10 quarterback that year with not even half the talent around him we will have this year. Contrary to popular belief he has the ability to throw more than 20 yards. Evidenced by his year in NE and some truly beautiful throws from 2010 that you can see by just looking on youtube. Last year he had no offseason to learn the once again new offense he was going to be asked to run. Compounded by the truly chaotic play calling paradigm that was in place when Haley was in charge. He was caught in the middle of a power struggle and infighting in the offensive coaching ranks. Once Haley was ousted he was already injured. So I think Orton looked better by default from not having such a schizophrenic situation to deal with. So what is my specific prediction you may ask.
Here it is,
3800 yards, 32 touchdowns, 16 interceptions, and 2 rushing TDs.
Bold yes, but let me go into my thinking.
3800 yards. 237 yards per game average. I think you would agree that that is obtainable if the offense is going even reasonably well by the first game. Brady's ypg average in 2011 was 327. and was not even a career year.
32 touchdowns. 2 TD per game average. With our receiving corps and Hillis who is a strength in the screen game and has great hands not to mention Moeaki returning and adding Boss this is easily attainable. Rodgers had 45.
16 interceptions. I think we can all agree one thing that Cassel does not have is an interception problem. He is pretty good at protecting the football. This is an average of one per game. I think it may actually be lower than this but with a more open offense and more confidence to try some plays I think he may throw a couple more than he otherwise would have, so I am comfortable with 16.
2 rushing TDs. Self-explanatory QB sneaks at the goaline, etc.
I think with these stats and a obviously improved OL and running game we will be in the mix for AFC-W champions and a playoff berth.
You may now commence ripping me as a pollyanna and a kool-aid drinker. But these are not pollyanna numbers but average to slightly above average and I think if you put aside your jaded feeling from the last couple years under Haley and that debacle I think you will realize they are very realistic.