I've given up on the Matt Cassel experiment, and it's time the Chiefs did the same.
Kansas City brought Cassel in based on a solid 2008 season in New England replacing an injured Tom Brady. Since then, critiques on his performance generally come with "special circumstances".
In 2009, the Chiefs had a vastly incomplete roster, new head coach and new front office. In 2010, fans witnessed a glimpse of things to come that fell flat at the end with Charlie Weis' departure. Last year, injuries to star players, a volatile head coach and an inexperienced coordinator held Cassel back from repeating his 2010 success.
But what about 2012? Romeo Crennel came out on top as head coach with overwhelming support from his locker room. Brian Daboll lacks the credentials of a Weis or Norv Turner, but is fully capable of running an offense. And while injuries abound this year, Kansas City built depth at many positions to protect them from a 2011-style meltdown.
In this case, there's another, more accurate word to describe these "special circumstances".
They're called "excuses".
The truth is, Cassel is held back by Cassel, and not by any external situation. He focuses on his primary receiver constantly, telegraphing his intent to the defense and missing out on other open receivers.
Cassel's inaccuracy is another major issue. Both injuries to Dexter McCluster and Peyton Hillis occurred when they adjusted to errant passes. No one expects their quarterback to be perfect, but Cassel struggles with hitting his receiver in stride on a regular basis. His best work is on "comeback" routes.
With Kansas City's focus on running the ball, Cassel's role is to keep defenses honest and make a couple plays. But mostly it's to play mistake-free ball and not lose the game.
He hasn't done that this year and is out of excuses. Unless he can make those adjustments, Cassel will be lucky for a backup quarterback position in Kansas City next year.
First quarter grade: D