Matt Cassel Holds Key for Kansas City Chiefs vs. the Colts
There's not a lot left to write at this point about the Kansas City Chiefs, especially following a bye week. All the "experts"—and I use that term disrespectfully—all say close to the same thing.
The Chiefs have a great running game with Jamaal Charles, Thomas Jones, and Dexter McCluster, and the Colts defensive line has been giving up yards like the Chiefs did last year. That recipe also accomplishes the most important thing: keeping Peyton Manning on the sideline, which is the one place he can't hurt you.
Obviously, the Colts have the superior passing game. That's goes true with most teams they line up against. So the experts all agree that the Chiefs need to pound the ball, keep Matt Cassel out of the game as much as possible, and keep Manning on the sideline.
When the Colts have the ball, they seem to think that the Chiefs will be able to stop the run and Manning will do whatever he wants.
I agree with all of that to a point. At some point, however, I completely disagree.
Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel have been down this road before. Todd Haley has too. He is no stranger to opening up a creative offense.
This game will come down to opportunities for Cassel that he has yet to see all year. The Chiefs will be successful running the ball. It is only a matter to what degree. At some point, maybe first quarter or not until late or depending on the score, the opportunities for Cassel will present themselves.
I'm not talking about 50-yard post patterns to Dwayne Bowe, though that would be nice. There should be great opportunities for Charles or McCluster on short-to mid-range routes. A traditional flea-flicker would be something that wouldn't shock me. I think you'll see Chris Chambers more active in this game. Maybe a reverse to Bowe. It could come out of the Wildcat, from Charles or something of that nature.
My point is that the opportunities will present themselves in this game more than any. After three games the Chiefs have started establishing an identity. They can run with the best of them, and Matt Cassel is not a very good quarterback.
Anyone who has read anything I've written knows I disagree. Matt Cassel is 6'4" and 225 pounds, moves very well, and can put a ball where he needs to. I think Cassel will start to establish his own identity Sunday.
I think this is the game the Chiefs will open it up. They have too many weapons and they have to stay with this team. Conversely, I think the Chiefs defense can shut down the Colts a lot more than the so-called experts have predicted.
It's official, I've come full circle.
Chiefs win tomorrow.
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