Be warned: if you are under the impression Cassel is an adequate NFL quarterback, you may be shocked.
Hit the jump for Cassel, exposed.
Let's start with the basic Matt Cassel criticism: he lacks accuracy.
On this particular play, he has Tony Moeaki wide, wide open crossing the middle of the field. Cassel, pressured, freaks out and makes an awkward throw that takes a pathetic nosedive. Moeaki makes a valiant effort, but alas.
You can see how open Moeaki was on endzone camera footage:
I know what some of you are going to do: you're going to excuse that throw because of the pressure. What's amazing about this play, is that right after it was over, CBS broke in with a highlight from the Bucs-Giants game of Josh Freeman doing this (click to see the GIF)
Talented quarterbacks can make amazing throws under pressure. Cassel puts the ball in the dirt.
OK, so that was still a tough throw for Cassel. What about short throws? He's good at that, right?
Nope. Cassel manages to make Moeaki fall flat on his face with this rocket ball, which is thrown a whole three yards down the field. Has Matt ever heard of touch?
Let's take a look at at throw to Dexter McCluster. They say he's good in space. On this play he has a LOT of space to work with. Unfortunately, Cassel throws such a poor pass, all that space vanishes because Dex has to stop and go to the ground to catch this awful pass.
But the worst part of this play? Dwayne Bowe is wide open for a touchdown (click for GIF). Bowe thinks so, he's got his hand stuck up in the air. I think so, too. If Cassel anticipates Bowe running open and chucks that ball away from the safety, to Bowe's outside shoulder, six points.
Another opportunity to hit Bowe for a touchdown? Uncatchable ball (click for GIF). I don't expect Cassel to deliver a perfect ball here, he is throwing on the run. But...at least give Bowe a chance? No chance. By the way, all that stuff people wrote last offseason about Bowe putting up bigger numbers with a better quarterback? Yeah, exactly.
Did you hear about Jon Baldwin, Cassel's shiny new deep threat? Turns out that Cassel's lack of deep accuracy, which has been an issue since New England, isn't going away anytime soon!
Baldwin gets three yards of separation on this play and...no chance (click for GIF). Not. Even. Close. I wonder if Baldwin would put up better numbers with a better quarterback?
Here's another oft-repeated Cassel criticism: his pocket awareness stinks.
What happens on this play? He runs himself right into a sack on third down, forcing the Chiefs to kick a field goal. There's no reason for Cassel to take off and run to his left. If he moves to his right, he's got a nice space to stand in and deliver the football.
And guess who he could have thrown to? Yep. That guy who could be more productive with a better quarterback. Cassel can't see him, though, he's too busy running into the waiting arms of Kyle Williams.
So let's see, Cassel's pocket awareness is terrible...he can't find open receivers...put them together, and what do you get?
You get the play that ruined the game.
You guessed it. On the critical sack and fumble that ended the competitive portion of last Sunday's game, Cassel's standing in the pocket and doesn't even see three guys breaking open. And of course, he didn't feel the rusher that was about to pulverize him, and so he fumbled.
Later, he made faces on the sideline.
And then he looked at the photos, and got even more frustrated.
My interpretation? He thinks it was someone else's fault.
No, Matt. It's your fault.
The defense can be fixed. Cassel can't. Get rid of him.