Why The Loss Of Matt Cassel Will Doom The Chiefs

Have you ever seen Friday the 13th ?  In many of the Friday the 13th movies, there is a guy who always tries to warn the would-be campers that they had better turn back or suffer the consequences. The problem is that the guy warning them is never anyone credible like a cop or a scientist. No, he is always the local town crazy, a hobo, drunk or even all three. For some reason, the nut job knows what is going on but his problem is that his is obviously nuts and so the campers spend more time laughing at him then heeding his cryptic advice.

That is how I feel today. I feel like the crazy guy from all the Friday the 13th movies. In particular, I feel like the nut from Friday the 13th VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. In this movie, a bunch of students are jumping on a boat near Camp Crystal Lake and sailing to New York City. One of the ships mates aka the new crazy guy, somehow knows that Jason is going to be on board and that he is going to do some serious damage.

He corners a couple of kids while they are boarding the boat and exclaims “Dis voyage is doomed! He’s come back and you’re all gonna die!”

If the kids had ever watched a horror movie in their entire lives they’d of high tailed it back to dry land but instead, they merely laugh at the guy and proceed to smoke dope, drink and engage in premarital sex. A recipe for disaster.

The best part of all this is that the crazy dude, after warning everyone not to get on board, ends up sailing on the voyage himself (he IS crazy after all) and ends up with an axe in his back.

So like the crazy guy from Friday the 13th, I am going to try to give you a warning, even if you’ll call me crazy. Even if it will end in disaster no matter what.

Heed my warning, after the jump.

If Matt Cassel cannot play Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs are going to see their playoff hopes go up in smoke.

In what has to be the worst timing possible, Cassel had his appendix removed just 4 days before the Chiefs were to travel to San Diego to take on the San Diego Chargers in an AFC West showdown. A Chiefs victory would not only mean the Chargers would be eliminated from the divisional playoff race but that the Chiefs would secure their first winning season since going 9-7 in 2006.

Unfortunately for the Chiefs, while the winning season may still be in reach, a playoff berth is quickly fading away.

The Chiefs are simply doomed without Matt Cassel.

It seems almost funny to say that because only a few weeks ago it seemed like the Chiefs were winning in spite of Cassel, not because of him. He appeared to be a game manager and nothing more. His only job was not to turn the ball over and to make a few passes here and there to keep the defenses honest.

Then, suddenly, Cassel began to blossom. He was making sharp drops and accurate throws. He became the picture of efficiency, hardly every taking an unnecessary sack and he continued to avoid interceptions. At the same time, Dwayne Bowe started showing signs of improvement and suddenly Cassel to Bowe was one of the most dangerous combinations in the league. Cassel quietly became the cornerstone of what the entire Chiefs organization is trying to become. He wasn’t just playing solid, reliable football anymore. He was now a threat and his emergence made all the other Chiefs playmakers were that much more dangerous. Suddenly, not just the playoffs, but playoff wins seemed possible.

Then “The Appendectomy” happened.

The improvement of the Kansas City Chiefs grinds to a halt with Cassel’s appendix. His loss means Bordie Croyle will have to step in for one or maybe even two games. Brodie Coryle, who has never won an NFL game. Brodie Croyle, who once dislocated his shoulder tying his shoe. Brodie Croyle, who couldn’t beat out a 62 year old Damon Huard for a starting position.

The problem with Croyle, besides all those things listed above, is that he is not an accurate QB. Sure, he has a heck of an arm but that doesn’t matter if he is throwing the football to the other team.

I watched Croyle very closely in the preseason and I compared his throwing motion to Cassel’s.

When Croyle  threw the ball he looked like an NFL QB. He had solid footwork and delivered an absolutely beautiful spiral.

In fact, in comparison, Cassel looked like the backup. Cassel was leaning into his throws. His footwork was poor and his throws were week.

While Croyle was throwing a prettier ball, Cassel was learning to throw an accurate one. Croyle’s preseason throws were sporadic in their accuracy and they would often sail on him, which is a recipe for interceptions.

Cassel was almost as inaccurate as Croyle but he spent the entire first part of the season working on his craft and by the time it started paying dividend, he appendix gave out on him.

Croyle on the other hand has been seeing limited snaps all season long. Cassel has been healthy and Croyle hasn’t so much as sniffed the field since the last preseason game. It is actually too bad that Cassel insisted in staying in the game during the blowout in Denver. Besides risking injury his sitting down could have given Croyle some much needed regular season reps.

Croyle is a liability to the Chiefs offense. He will be so rusty when he steps on the field Sunday, on the road against a team that is backed in to a corner that interceptions are inevitable. If the Chiefs try to get cute and let Croyle start chucking the ball all over the place he is bound to turn the ball over and Philip Rivers will capitalize on mistakes.

Just ask Peyton Manning and the Colts.

If the Chiefs try to go conservative with Croyle, San Diego is going to load the crap out of the box and shut down the Chiefs running game. While they may not be able to slow Charles, Jones and McCluster all day, they’ll likely be able to do it long enough to wear out the Chiefs defense enough to give Rivers and company time to get a couple of touchdowns ahead.

A loss in San Diego could be catastrophic for the Chiefs. It will not only back them into a corner leaving no room for error, it will also embolden the downtrodden Chargers into believing the can win out. I don’t know about you but I think they will positively handle the rest of the teams on their schedule.

The Chiefs, on the other hand, have a rough go of it. St. Louis on the road and the Titans and the Raiders at home are not cupcake games. There is a very good chance that even with Cassel the Chiefs could lose one of those contests, giving the Chargers the opening they need to steal away the division.

KC’s only hope is that Cassel either sucks it up and gets out there or Romeo Crennel draws up the defensive game plan of his life and gets the Chiefs offense a couple of turnovers to turn the tide.

Is it possible? Sure.

But it is about as likely as you heeding my warning or those kids surviving the voyage to New York.

Sorry Addicts, but this voyage is doomed. But I’ll sail with you anyway.

Even if I end up with an axe in my back.

Topics: Kansas City Chiefs, Matt Cassel, Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

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