Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE
Overall game grade — C+
Sunday's performance epitomized Matt Cassel's career as a starter—wildly inconsistent. He exploited Atlanta's secondary with ease during the first half, effortlessly manufacturing 17 points.
In the opening drive of the third quarter, Cassel and Dexter McCluster spearheaded another threatening drive while operating out of a no-huddle offense.
However, the threat proved to be a false alarm. The offense stalled, and Ryan Succop's 40-yard field goal attempt ricocheted like a pinball off of the right goal post. It was all downhill from there—Cassel's next three drives were punctuated by turnovers (2 INT, 1 FUM).
When Tom Brady hobbled off of the field in Week 1 of 2008, fans murmured, "Who is Matt Cassel?" Four years later, and there is still no definitive answer.
Other offensive weapons also struggled. Peyton Hillis (7 CAR, 16 YDS) was an afterthought, and the PA system didn't relay Jon Baldwin's name a single time throughout the day.
While the loss will overshadow the bright spots in the minds of most fans, there were flashes of promise that shouldn't go unnoticed.
The Chiefs rushing attack occasionally sparked deafening echoes inside of Arrowhead Stadium. Holes for Jamaal Charles were few and far between. However, in the second quarter, the ankle-breaker eventually bolted through Atlanta's wall of defense with a 46-yard rush.
Dexter McCluster recorded six receptions, while Dwayne Bowe and Tony Moeaki—each snatching three passes—reassured Kansas Citians that both are back up to speed.
The stock of second-year running back Shaun Draughn continued to rise as he averaged 4.8 yards per carry on Sunday.
Kansas City out-gained Atlanta with 17 more total yards, and the offense operated efficiently on third downs (converting 11 of 16).
In the end, though, turnovers bogged down the Chiefs' offensive machine.