CBSSports.com Senior Writer

Power Rankings: Please pass the crow, Mr. Cassel

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Updated Dec. 29

Who has the best barbecue sauce in Kansas City?

Whoever it is, I need some. I have to put some on the crow I'm about to eat regarding the Kansas City Chiefs and quarterback Matt Cassel.

Doesn't Kansas City barbecue sauce make anything taste good? I imagine BBQ sauce in K.C. is like red sauce for my Italian family. You throw it on anything and it makes it taste good.

Crow? That could be tough, but I'll give it a try.

After all, I have to gobble down a plate of the stuff for being so wrong all season about the Chiefs, and especially Cassel.

Kansas City will be in the playoffs as AFC West champions and I really believe Cassel will get some MVP consideration. He won't win it -- that will go to Tom Brady -- but he has had a special season.

Cassel has 27 touchdown passes and five interceptions. He has been on fire in the second half of the season, even missing one start, a game Kansas City lost. Cassel was 24 of 34 for 314 yards and three touchdowns in the Chiefs' 34-14 victory over the Titans on Sunday.

I'll be honest. I wasn't sure about Cassel. In fact, I didn't see the arm strength to power the football the way NFL quarterbacks need to do. That's why I was skeptical about him as a long-term starter.

I was wrong. Cassel does what you need NFL quarterbacks to do, which is to see the field. He finds the right guy more often than not. That's more important than arm strength.

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Uncertainty about him was the reason why I kept the Chiefs down low in my initial Power Rankings, much to the chagrin of the many e-mailers from K.C. who came with the venom you would expect from East Coast fans. It made me wonder how many East Coast transplants live in Kansas City. You people can be nasty.

Chiefs coach Todd Haley deserves to be mentioned in the Coach of the Year race. I'm not sure he will win it -- and I do have a vote in the Associated Press balloting -- but he will get consideration.

At 10-5, the Chiefs are assured of having a home playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium. There's a chance I could do that game. If I do, I need to find some good barbecue sauce. Any ideas?

That crow can be tough to get down.

RANK TEAM MOVE (LW)

Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. He hosted his own radio show for seven years, and is the self-anointed star of CBS Sports' show, Eye on Football. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an Arizona State national title in football.
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