The Kansas City Chiefs have been looking for a spark in the passing game all season. With starting quarterback Matt Cassel out due to the concussion he suffered last week, Brady Quinn will take the reins against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 6.
To say that Quinn's career has stalled since leaving Cleveland in 2009 would be an understatement. He didn't see live game action during the regular season in 2010 or 2011. The two snaps he took last weekend were his first since December 20, 2009.
Yet some could argue that Quinn has never really been given a fair chance to show what he can do. Prior to 2009, he played just four games in two years. He was injured in 2008, causing him to miss the final month of the year.
Say what you want about Quinn—and there is certainly a lot there to nitpick—but there was a time when he was a first-round pick. We see players taken that high all the time who do not pan out, yet it is rare to see a quarterback taken that high who has never really had anyone behind him to at least give him a chance.
Plus, the Chiefs are not exactly devoid of talent on offense. Dwayne Bowe is a star wide receiver who has been able to put up big numbers despite playing with mediocre quarterbacks. Jon Baldwin is starting to look like a solid No. 2 receiver who can stretch the field.
Dexter McCluster is like a poor man's Darren Sproles. He doesn't have the same speed that Sproles has, but he can catch short passes and get yards after the catch thanks to his field vision.
Then there is the work that Jamaal Charles continues to do out of the backfield. He is showing no effects from the knee surgery that ended his 2011 season prematurely. He leads the NFL in rushing yards (551), is averaging 5.4 yards per carry and has run for at least 87 yards in four of the team's first five games.
All of this clearly suggests that Cassel was the problem with the offense. Nine interceptions through five games, which tied him with Brandon Weeden for most in the NFL, is unacceptable. His 6.53 yards per attempt is 29th in the NFL.
Like Eric Winston said, you don't want to root for anyone to get hurt, especially with a head injury. However, just looking at this strictly from an on-field perspective, taking Cassel out of the starting lineup should be enough to make the Chiefs a better offensive team.
Even if Quinn is merely bad, he will be an upgrade over Cassel. Playing against the Buccaneers' woeful defense should provide enough of a boost to push the Chiefs over the top in this game, and Quinn should look like a capable NFL player for one week.