Friday, November 26, 2010
Matt Cassel is on an impressive streak
By Bill Williamson
Name the most efficient quarterback in the NFL over the past six weeks.
Here’s a hint, Kansas City Chiefs’ fans, it’s the guy that many of you have asked to be replaced.
Yep, Matt Cassel is playing at a high level. In fact, Cassel has quietly become quarterback the Chiefs thought he would become when they traded for him and signed him to a $40 million contract in 2009.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Cassel has, by far, been the most efficient quarterback in the NFL for the past month and a half. He has thrown 14 touchdowns and he has been intercepted just once. His plus-13 differential is three better than Baltimore’s Joe Flacco, who is second in the NFL during that time span.
Cassel will never be an elite quarterback who is capable of throwing for 400 yards a game on a regular basis. But that’s not what Kansas City head coach Todd Haley and offensive coordinator Charlie Weis – who both deserve credit for the continued development of Cassel – wants Cassel to be. They want him to manage the game, not make mistakes and take advantage of the No. 1 rushing offense in the NFL.
That’s the player Cassel has morphed into. He is an efficient NFL quarterback who is a reason why the Chiefs, 6-4, are atop in the AFC West. If he continues this pace, there’s no reason to think Kansas City won’t move forward with him.
Why wouldn’t they? A 14-to-1 touchdown-interception differential is exceptional. Meanwhile, Cassel, a college backup, will face his college coach at USC, Pete Carroll, on Sunday in Seattle.