Chiefs QB Matt Cassel has taken a beating this season, both literally and figuratively. From the fans and the media, he's been criticized for his poor numbers and the Chiefs lack of wins, among other things. On the field, he's been sacked more than all but two quarterbacks in the NFL.
Despite missing one game this season, Cassel is third in the NFL for times sacked. Only Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger have been sacked more.
23 of Cassel's 41 sacks have come against the blitz (rushing six or more). Roethlisberger leads the league in sacks against the blitz (25), followed by Cassel, Tony Romo (22) and Matt Hasselbeck (21).
What's a good number? Try Tom Brady, who has been sacked just twice in the face of a blitz. It's not fair to hold Cassel to Brady's standard but that shows you he's got a long way to go in this category. Remember, Cassel was sacked nearly 50 times with the Patriots last season.
The good news for the Chiefs this weekend is that Carson Palmer is not as comfortable when facing a blitz. His average yards per attempt drops farther than all quarterbacks except Eli Manning in the face of a blitz.
I think there's plenty of blame to go around when you're looking at Cassel's numbers against the blitz. Both Rodgers and Roethlisberger have similar sack issues yet both rank in the top 5 in passes over 50 yards, which I think is a great testament to exploiting the blitz at times.
(Numbers come courtesy Ed Thompson of Scout.com)