Earlier this week, it was reported that Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel was having surgery on an injured hand, and Head Coach Todd Haley said he hoped Cassel would be back later in the season. A couple days later, another report came out that Matt Cassel would not return for the rest of the 2011 season. Although this report is preliminary, any surgery on a quarterback’s throwing hand would have significant effects on his passing. I don’t count on Cassel coming back this season. I feel like he has done all he can do and this injury might be the best thing for him. Why you ask? He was getting murdered behind the line. The offensive linemen couldn’t block anyone, which resulted in pressure and hits on Cassel. Sure, Cassel could have made better decisions at times throughout the season. But had he had more time in the pocket, he could have let plays develop and made better decisions.
I don’t think you can count Cassel out as a starting quarterback. I said it last week and I’ll say it again. If Cassel had a stronger offensive line in front of him, that could actually protect from defenders trying to rip his head off, he would be a better quarterback. The Chiefs offensive line looks like Philadelphia’s offensive line the first few weeks of the season. The only difference is that Michael Vick is more mobile. That still didn’t prevent him from getting injured multiple times this season. It’s not always the quarterback’s fault like everyone makes it out to be. It starts up front.
So with Cassel out for the season, who has to step up to help the Chiefs improve and try to save Haley’s job?
Palko has not started an NFL game. That doesn’t exactly bode well for the Chiefs offense. However, Palko is more mobile than Cassel, which, in this case, might be good, since the offensive line can’t seem to protect their quarterback. Palko also looked pretty good on the last drive of the Denver game last weekend. Hopefully he can carry that over against the New England Patriots on Monday Night. It will be interesting to see how he manages the full 60 minutes.
Expect more carries Jackie. You’re going to have to shoulder more of the load with the passing game taking a hit.
Palko might struggle early on. Bowe, Baldwin, and Breaston have to step up and help Palko develop and get comfortable with the first team offense. The one thing these receivers have to focus on is catching balls thrown in their area. There were four notable dropped passes last week that could have been big gainers and helped to keep drives alive.
Block people. Come on guys. Protect your quarterback.
If the Chiefs can manage to extend drives and keep Tom Brady off the field, they could have a shot at winning this game, as long as they score points. The Chiefs can’t try to do too much right now. They just have to manage this game and the defense has to stop Brady. Unfortunately, the Patriots have a lot of offensive weapons, it will be hard for the weakened Chiefs defense to stop them. Maybe Brady will have an off night. We can only hope.