KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The job, as things stand, could be a career killer.
Matt Cassel’s time as the Chiefs’ starting quarterback appears to have permanently ended with the Chiefs’ seventh straight loss, another uncompetitive game that went to the Cincinnati Bengals 28-6 Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
Responsibility for the mess that is the 1-9 Chiefs would fall to Brady Quinn, who again is in line to inherit the position. After replacing Cassel at halftime of Sunday’s game, Quinn seems to be the obvious choice to start next week’s game against Denver, also at Arrowhead.
Along with having to lug an anemic offense, Quinn will have to operate behind a tattered offensive line and perhaps a skeleton crew at wide receiver. While that sounds like a toxic mix, Quinn was having none of that after Sunday’s loss.
“Look, I feel like I’m one of the most privileged people in the world,” Quinn said. “I’m very blessed to have the opportunity to do what I do. (Playing in) the National Football League is a dream, really. It’s not only changed my life, it’s changed my family’s life forever.
“I don’t care what team you’re on or what your record is, it’s without a doubt the best job you could ever have. I don’t care what the circumstances may sound like or look like to everyone else. I love what I do, and I love the game of football and I also will love being under center and going back there and slinging the ball around.”
That’s the perspective of someone who spent two long seasons on the bench in Denver and is merely grateful for any chance to play. A more neutral observer might see that playing quarterback for the Chiefs is no prize, certainly not behind an offensive line that because of injuries had three backups in the lineup, or with a group of receivers that didn’t include Dwayne Bowe or Jon Baldwin, the two usual starters at that position.
The job again proved too much for Cassel on Sunday. After guiding the Chiefs to two field goals in the first half, he was benched in favor of Quinn, who only Friday was cleared to play following a recent concussion.
“I wanted to start Cassel, so I started Cassel,” coach Romeo Crennel said. “When I felt like I needed to make a change, I made the change to Quinn. So Quinn got into the game in the second half and then after this, I will evaluate it and I will let you know what I am going to do next week.”
While Crennel didn’t make a decision, at least publicly, Cassel indicated he knew which way his coach would go. But he wouldn’t speculate on what his second benching of the season would mean for his future in Kansas City.
“I’m not going to go into that right now,” Cassel said. “I don’t know what my future holds, but I’m going to continue to be the same guy. I’m going to continue to work hard and do whatever I can to help this team win. It’s a tough situation. Anytime you’re the quarterback. There is a lot of weight put on you whether it goes good or whether it goes bad.
“I wasn’t anticipating it. I came in at halftime and Coach Crennel said he wanted to create a spark so he was going to make a change at the quarterback position. I wasn’t anticipating that at halftime after we came down and put three points on the board (before) the half.”
The Chiefs were shut out with Quinn as their quarterback in the second half. They didn’t score one with Quinn in the game in previous losses to Baltimore, Oakland and Tampa Bay.
But he will look like a miracle worker if he can revive an offense that hasn’t scored more than 16 points in a game since September.
“The past couple of weeks, we were able to jump out to a lead, which is good,” Quinn said. “But the fact of the matter is you have to sustain that. You can’t get a lead and not continue to put points on the board.
“That’s the thing right now. We are definitely leaving some things out there on the field, and it’s our job to find ways, find solutions and make things happen out there.”
KC—FG Succop 34, 8:31.
Cin—Green 4 pass from Dalton (Nugent kick), 2:51.
Cin—Dalton 1 run (Nugent kick), 7:52.
Cin—Green-Ellis 1 run (Nugent kick), :53.
KC—FG Succop 33, :00.
Cin—Sanu 14 pass from Dalton (Nugent kick), 9:39.
|Total Net Yards||409||284|
|Time of Possession||35:22||24:38|
RUSHING—Cincinnati, Green-Ellis 25-101, Peerman 8-75, Dalton 3-13, Sanu 2-0. Kansas City, Charles 17-87, Draughn 2-10, Hillis 3-9, Quinn 4-7, Cassel 1-0.
PASSING—Cincinnati, Dalton 18-29-0-230. Kansas City, Quinn 9-14-0-95, Cassel 8-16-0-93.
RECEIVING—Cincinnati, Green 6-91, Gresham 6-69, Sanu 2-22, Tate 1-24, Leonard 1-11, Green-Ellis 1-7, Whalen 1-6. Kansas City, Moeaki 4-73, Charles 4-31, McCluster 3-37, Copper 3-33, Draughn 2-1, Breaston 1-13.
MISSED FIELD GOALS—Cincinnati, Nugent 50 (WL).