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Breaking Down Matt Cassel's Incompletions

The hotly debated topic around town has been the play of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel.  Plenty of folks can point to his poor statistics and argue that he's regressing as a quarterback and, simply, not getting it done.  Other folks point to the offensive line and/or receivers as the culprits for his poor statistics.  

Chiefs head coach Todd Haley didn't put the entire blame on Cassel for Sunday's four-interception game.  Two of those picks were on-target, but the ball was tipped into the air.  Another one was a desperation throw at the end of the half.

"I thought the quarterback did a good job of fighting through some adversity and ultimately put us in a position to potentially win that game," Haley said.

With a big hat tip to Ed Thompson of, we'll take a statistical look at some of Cassel's incompletions this season compared to what he had to work with in New England.


Chiefs receivers have dropped 9.2% of Cassel's throws this season.  If you're wondering, that's a very high amount.

How does that compare to Cassel's receivers in New England last year?  They dropped 5% of his passes, which means Kansas City receivers are dropping nearly twice as many passes that are on-target.

Cassel's completion percentage would be closer to 58% this season if the Chiefs receivers dropped passes in line with the Patriots receivers last season.

Just bad passes

69 of 392  throws have been just bad passes that were off target. Of course, plenty of things can contribute to that but that's pretty hard to quantify.

Last year, Cassel had 67 off-target passes with 516 attempts.

So, something's definitely up.  Offensive line? No rhythm with receivers? Regression?  All possibilities and/or contributing factors.

Other reasons for incompletions

  • Knocked down by defender (10.1%)
  • Batted down at the line (3.5%)
  • Intentional grounding (3.7%)

All these percentages are in line with what he did in New England.

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