Matt Cassel is feeling no pressure from Teddy Bridgewater and is in no danger of losing his starting job in Minnesota. That being said…Matt Cassel isn’t fooling anyone tonight about what kind of quarterback he really is.
Cassel consistently finishes near the bottom when football experts like Ron Jaworski compile their lists of the NFL’s starting QBs, and there’s a reason for that. It’s because, over the course of his career, Cassel has been inconsistent with his accuracy, spotty with his handling of the pass rush and prone to turnovers. Overall, he has been a middle-of-the-road QB.
Cassel reminded us in the first half of Saturday night’s game vs. the Chiefs why he was let go by the Chiefs, making him available to be picked up by the Vikings in 2013. After an early big play to Cordarrelle Patterson for a TD, Bad Cassel showed up.
Bad Cassel takes sacks because he doesn’t feel the rush. He forces balls downfield for interceptions. He misses passes he should make. All those issues popped up for Cassel against Kansas City (the only thing we didn’t see was the bat downs at the line; Bad Cassel is usually good for one or two of those).
Not all the Vikings’ offensive struggles were Cassel’s fault. He should have hit a deep pass to Greg Jennings but Jennings was unable to drag his foot and stay in bounds. The safety he gave up was fully on right tackle Austin Wentworth who was only in the game because Phil Loadholt had to momentarily leave.
Cassel’s worst play came when he tried for a deep pop to Jerome Simpson into double coverage and overthrew the receiver for an interception. There should have been another INT when a Chiefs corner jumped a route on Greg Jennings but the defender was unable to complete the play.
When Cassel is going well he’s working his receivers down the field, hitting plays outside the numbers and establishing good tempo. It hasn’t been there tonight. Some of that is on the Vikings’ O-line, which has gotten shredded a little by Kansas City’s front seven, but a lot of it is on Cassel who has this well-known tendency to lose the beat.
None of what has happened tonight will change anyone’s evaluation of Cassel or his status as the starting QB. It all just serves as a reminder that we need to be realistic about what our starting QB is. He’s Matt Cassel. He’s going to suck a fair amount of the time.
Tonight, he has mostly sucked.