|Could we see Brady Quinn against the Ravens this week? (US Presswire)|
We're only a month into the season but the playoffs are already probably out of reach for the Chiefs. This is the reality of lacking a consistent passing offense in a league that is reliant on, well, consistent passing offense. It also explains why coach Romeo Crennel didn't bang his fist on the table and scream "Absolutely not!" when asked Monday about the possibility of backup Brady Quinn getting some playing time this week against the Ravens.
“At some point, as a coach, you go through and you see what's happening in the game and how a guy is reacting and how he's responding to what's happening in the game,” Crennel said, according to the Kansas City Star's Adam Teicher. “If you feel he's inept, constantly making poor decisions, bad choices, then that's when you move on from him and give someone else a chance.”
Through four games, incumbent Matt Cassel is completing 58 percent of his passes and has five touchdowns against seven interceptions. He's also been sacked 13 times and has lost three fumbles.
It gets worse: Football Outsiders ranks Cassel 25th in their QB efficiency metric ahead of names like Blaine Gabbert and Brandon Weeden. (If you're an optimist, Cassel's just behind Aaron Rodgers on the list, a phenomenon we're guessing won't last long.)
Cassel's latest showing against the Chargers pushed Crennel to this point; the quarterback had three first-half interceptions in a game that was one long Chiefs turnover (there were six total, five coming in the first half).
"We've got to solve it and we've got to solve it quick. Turnovers have been killing us," Cassel said after the game. "We talk about it, but we obviously have to go out there and do a better job. … It starts with me. I have to do a better job of protecting the football and putting us in position to be successful."
Crennel didn't say if Cassel was a candidate for benching during the Chargers debacle, but he did concede that his quarterback's unevenness from one play to the next is an ongoing problem.
“Matt is the quarterback,” Crennel said. “What he has been able to show is that he can make plays. Even after he had those turnovers, he came back and drove the team down the field. We think he is capable, and we just have to get him to be more consistent. (Sunday) the whole team needed to be more consistent. You see flashes of it. You just don't see it consistently.”
Things don't look to magically sort themselves out this week. The Chiefs face the Ravens. Let's say Cassel gets off to a slow start and Crennel decides to turn to Quinn. Then what? As Teicher notes, Cassel's the only quarterback on the roster who's played in a regular-season game in the last three seasons, and second-year backup Ricky Stanzi "was awful enough in training camp and the preseason that even his continued employment in Kansas City is in doubt."
General manager Scott Pioli probably would like to get his hands on a time machine and return to a time when he still worked for the Patriots because things in Kansas City are going to get worse before they get better.
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