Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel has been playing good football of late. In his last four starts, Cassel has completed 63% of his passes for 800 yards, eight touchdowns and just one interception. That upward trend is likely to continue this weekend, as the Buffalo Bills are allowing opposing quarterbacks an average of 205 passing yards and 2.3 touchdowns per game this season.
Still, I called Cassel one of the Chiefs' biggest weaknesses yesterday at Arrowhead Pride. Let's face it - three of those four games came against 1-6 San Francisco, the league's worst pass defense (Houston), and the sixth-worst pass defense (Jacksonville). The track record is not there to indicate that Cassel is of the caliber to make the Chiefs a perennial Super Bowl contender, now or in the future. There was surprisingly little resistance to that stance from the very intelligent folks over at AP.
I asked Joel Thorman whether he had a similar impression regarding Cassel - whether he was the type of QB to take the Chiefs to the proverbial promised land.
"This is getting to be a more difficult question with each week," Thorman replied.
"In the first month of the season we were pretty down on Matt Cassel because he hadn't shown much of anything at all," Thorman continued. "His completion percentage was down, he wasn't converting third downs and you definitely got the feeling he was holding the offense back. This dates back to 2009 as a whole. I have very little confidence in that Matt Cassel to lead the team on a post-season run.
"In the last few weeks though he he's gotten... better. He's completing more of his passes. Third downs are up and he's throwing TD passes. He's not a 300-yard, 3-TD type of player. We know that. But we're finding out that that's OK. He can throw for 200 yards as he did last week and still be very efficient as he was last week (13-of-18). It's almost as if this team was built to not have the type of quarterback that will take over the game. They run the ball well and play good defense. The strengths of this team are not about highlighting the quarterback. It's really a pretty unique situation because you don't get players putting up Cassel's stats that are on a first place team. Do I think Cassel can lead this team on a great comeback late in the game? No. But the Chiefs may not be put in that situation very often this year.
"So to answer your question: I don't know yet."