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QB Matt Cassel - Minnesota Vikings

6-5, 230Born: 5-17-1982College: USCDrafted: Round 7

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Photo: Bruce Kluckhohn, US Presswire

Preseason player page

News you need to know

From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Sep 15): It's hard to see Cassel lasting much longer as the Vikings starter if he plays like he did against his old team on Sunday. The Superdome is one of the toughest places to play in the league, so the arrow is definitely pointing down for Cassel.

Week 3: at New Orleans Saints

Detailed matchup analysis coming soon.

Recent Stats and Projections

1 at STL 17 25 170 2 0 3 -2 0 0
2 vs NE 19 36 202 1 4 3 16 0 0
3 at NO PROJ-Tremblay 22 35 * * * 3 * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2014 Week 1 vs STL (17 / 25 / 170 / 2 / 0 pass, 3 / -2 / 0 rush)

With apologies to Dennis Green: Matt Cassel is who we thought he was. An average at best quarterback with a very lucky tendency to have passes which should be picked off fall to the turf. That was the case on Sunday as he was a bit shaky early and had two throws dropped by defenders who should have caught them. Aside from the early jitters, Cassel was OK, mostly efficient and able to stay out of the way of the St. Louis Rams pass rush, only being sacked once. New offensive coordinator didn't ask him to do a ton--he only threw five passes past 10 yards (completing three of them), with 12 more between the line of scrimmage and 10 yards (completing nine of them). Six more were thrown behind the line of scrimmage (five were completed) with one that should have been intercepted. Cassel is not asked to do all that much--the basic gameplan is similar in many ways to last what they did a lot of the 2013 season with short passes, careful plays designed to get the ball in the hands of the receiver and let them gain the extra yards. Cassel had some issues with the ball in his own hands though--on a sack at the end of the first half, he took a snap out of the shotgun and dropped the ball. He recovered it but was sacked and almost gave the Rams the ball at the 40 yard line. Cassel had another snafu on a snap when the center fired the ball back when the quarterback was clearly not ready for it. Again, Cassel was able to recover and took the sack. He did make a nice pass on each of his touchdown throws. On the first, a play late in the first half, receiver Greg Jennings ran a fade route to the back of the end zone. Cassel threw the ball a bit too hard for your average fade pass, but he put it where only Jennings would have a chance for it and they connected for an 8-yard touchdown. On the second touchdown, with just over six minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Cassel hit tight end Kyle Rudolph on a 7-yard touchdown pass. On the play, Cassel executed a playaction pass, rolling out to his right as a Rams defender was hot on his heels. He saw Rudolph crossing the end zone and threw a perfect pass to him for the score. Overall, Cassel played a decent, if limited, game.

2014 Week 2 vs NE (19 / 36 / 202 / 1 / 4 pass, 3 / 16 / 0 rush)

This was the Matt Cassel we've all come to know and loathe. Cassel started out well, completing four passes out of four attempts and throwing a touchdown to running back Matt Asiata. On that play, Asiata took the snap and rolled to his right. As a Patriots defender came at him, he threw the ball over the defender to Asiata, who was wide open on a short out along the line of scrimmage. Asiata turned upfield and outran the defenders for the score. That turned out to be the high-water mark of the day as four interceptions later Cassel was a key ingredient in a spectacular drubbing by the New England Patriots. In fact, his very next pass was an interception on a badly underthrown ball to Jarius Wright. Cassel had plenty of time and just threw a duck that died a few yards short (and to the right) of where his receiver was. His second interception was also a poor throw--well over Greg Jennings' head--which Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis jumped up and grabbed. Jennings' route wasn't great--it could be that Cassel was throwing to a spot Jennings wasn't at--but it looked like a ball that never should have been thrown then. His third interception was a pass which was way off target to Cordarrelle Patterson and for the fourth interception, Cassel rifled a pass at Matt Asiata which was a little high (at his head) but Asiata should have caught it. The ball bounced up and into the hands of the Patriots. In his defense, the run game was non-existent and his offensive line allowed him to get hammered all day long. Pro Football Focus had him listed as being hit five times, sacked six and hurried 11 times. That's no formula for success. Left tackle Matt Kalil is struggling again this season and is currently ranked as the No. 63 tackle in the NFL by PFF. It's early but so far it's also been ugly. Former Vikings beat writer Tom Pelissero (now with USA Today) calls Kalil a liability and while Cassel isn't impressive, he's got to get better from a former first round, top five pick. On the other hand, Cassel had a habit of holding the ball too long as well--so this disaster is symbiotic. Something has to give here, though whether the team makes a change at quarterback or on the line is hard to say.


Latest News

Vikings | Matt Cassel to remain starter (Mon Sep 15, 02:30 AM) - Despite throwing four interceptions in a 30-7 loss to the New England Patriots Sunday, Sept. 14, Minnesota Vikings QB Matt Cassel will remain the starter. ďAs Iíve said before, Iím going to hold the quarterback position just like every position here to the same standard,Ē Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. ďAnd I also said I wasnít going to have a quick hook. Matt needs to play better. Itís pretty obvious he needs to play better.Ē

Our View: Why? Cassel doesn't give the team the best chance to win, and there's no reason to think he does. Rookie Teddy Bridgewater was selected in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft, and he's the quarterback of the future. Might as well make the future now. Bridgewater is likely to start at some point this season, so the Vikings would be wise to make the change.
link to story   

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3@ New Orleans Saints
4vs Atlanta Falcons
5@ Green Bay Packers
6vs Detroit Lions
7@ Buffalo Bills
8@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
9vs Washington Redskins
10--- BYE WEEK ---
11@ Chicago Bears
12vs Green Bay Packers
13vs Carolina Panthers
14vs New York Jets
15@ Detroit Lions
16@ Miami Dolphins
17vs Chicago Bears