Blog: Cheering Cassel’s Injury And Other Random Thoughts

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Unless you’re a K-State fan, you are probably feeling a little down this morning. Mizzou lost to SEC bottom feeder Vanderbilt; KU played a great first quarter of football before being blown out by the Wildcats in the Sunflower Showdown; Sporting KC was three minutes away from three points and a better chance at the Supporter’s Shield when Columbus hit a header past goalie Jimmy Nielsen; and the Chiefs lost what might’ve been their best chance to beat a good opponent this year.

Let’s start there. First of all, the good. The defense finally played up to their potential.  They stuffed Ray Rice repeatedly, clamped down on the receivers, and refused to let Baltimore in the end zone. I am starting to love our defensive front and must say, Dontari Poe is coming into his own pretty quickly. He’s doing a great job clogging up the inside lanes, forcing running backs to bounce outside, and the Chiefs are swarming to the ball really well. Our secondary made great gains as well and did a great job denying huige plays to Baltimore’s stud receivers.

Our running game is awesome. Jammal Charles continues to amaze. His burst is better than anyone’s, maybe ever, and he is fun to watch, knowing he can break off a big run at any time.  If only he would hold on to the ball a little better!  But kudos to the offensive line for opening up those big holes and punching Baltimore’s front seven in the face play after play after play.  Baltimore is known for their stingy defense and our offense ran all over them.

Now for the bad.  Turnovers.  Hold on to the friggin’ ball, people!  Dwayne Bowe, you made Matt Cassel look bad yesterday, and he really doesn’t need any help in that category.  While I appreciate Brian Daboll’s play calling – run, run, run, run, pass? No let’s run it again — all that running will wear and tear on Charles’ body if they aren’t careful. He is coming back from a torn ACL. To throw him to the wolves so often is not really smart in the long term. Look at what happened to Larry Johnson with all the repeated beating he took. He wore out a few years before he should have. And by running it so often, you basically told the world that you don’t trust Matt Cassel. You refused to let him throw the ball. Maybe it was wise considering he threw two picks and coughed up two fumbles, one at the goal line. But if you don’t trust him to lead your team, then why are you still letting him start?

Pride.

More on that in a minute.

Cassel’s injury is exactly what Chiefs fans wanted to see. I can respect offensive tackle Eric Winston stepping up for his hurt QB and defending him in the media, saying it was disgusting the fans cheered when he was hurt, but let’s be real. First of all, the injury didn’t look that bad. It’s not like Cassel had a bone sticking out of his leg. It looked like he had the wind knocked out of him, and so the fans thought in the long run, he’d be fine. They (me included) wanted to see Brady Quinn under center, and we were not disappointed. Brady’s throws had zip to them. He drove the offense down the field.  If Dexter McCluster had not been caught setting an illegal pick on the DB, Bowe would’ve scored a touchdown.  He would’ve won the game.

After the game, Crennel said he never considered replacing Casse with Quinnl. When your offensive game plan is so obviously meant to keep the ball out of Cassel’s hands, then why let him keep starting? Because GM Scott Pioli doesn’t want to look bad benching the “savior” of Kansas City Chiefs football. It’s all about ego. Common sense says they need to give Quinn a chance. The Chiefs lead the NFL in turnovers with 19 total. Cassel has the second worst QB rating behind rookie Brandon Weedon of Cleveland. He is doing nothing to spark a 1-4 team. Now that he’s hurt, let’s hope Brady Quinn gets a chance to start next Sunday, leads the team to victory and stays the starter the rest of the year.

Watching the first 13 minutes of the Sporting KC game Sunday was brutal. Audio issues prevented us from hearing the crowd chanting, and it sounded like two guys in their basement with the volume turned down practicing to be sportscasters. Ouch!  Why would these audio issues not be solved before the game? We missed the thrill of hearing CJ Sapong score his goal to give Sporting the 1-nil lead.

Sporting is fun to watch, but if often times feels like watching the Chiefs. They get so close to the goal but can’t convert. I can’t remember the last time Sporting scored more than one or two goals. With their offensive firepower, we should be seeing 4-nil games.  Maybe they’ll put it all together in time for the playoffs. Regardless, they are the only KC team winning right now and it’s fun watching them play winning soccer.

K-State is ranked 6th in the latest AP Poll.  Many thought they’d be higher with Florida State, Georgia and LSU all losing, but God forbid we don’t have at least three SEC teams in the top five. That is why Florida jumped from 10th to 4th. I need to be honest.  I hate all the SEC love. That’s not to say they don’t deserve it, but I wish the media would respect Big 12 football a little more.  Guess you’ve gotta beat them before you can join them.

It’ll be hard for the Wildcats to run the table. They still have to play West Virginia, TCU, and Texas, and Iowa State looked pretty good Saturday.  Wouldn’t it be fun to see K-State in the national championship game? Every undefeated team still has a chance.  Even though it’s unrealistic, it’s still fun to dream.

Here’s my prediction: Ohio State will be undefeated at the end of the year and will end the season ranked #2. The Buckeyes cannot play in the postseason due to those NCAA violations by former coach Jim Tressel and Tattoo-gate, but Urban Meyer has done a heck of a job putting together a great team. They DESTROYED a good Nebraska team, and their defense is as tough as any. Urban Meyer will win a national championship there within the next four years. You heard it here first. (Or second if you’ve read that prediction somewhere else).

I’m sad my Northwestern Wildcats lost to Penn State Saturday.  NU hadn’t been 6-0 since 1962 and this was their best chance.  I still think Northwestern will rack up 9 wins and will end the year ranked in the top 20 – hopefully.  Little known fact: Northwestern has the second most losses than any other BCS football team in history.  The #1 loser?  Indiana.

You can reach Matt Stewart at matt.stewart@wdaftv4.com

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