Back when I was in high school, I had a Chemistry teacher that told us at the beginning of the year that we were never to say his class sucked. His reasoning was that there was no such thing as “suck” and to be scientifically accurate we were to say that his class “created a difference in air pressure.”
In honor of that teacher, who was one of my all time favorites by the way, let’s just say that the Chiefs quarterbacks in 2012 created a difference in air pressure. A significant difference at that!
As fans of the Kansas City Chiefs, we can go round and round about who the team should go after and whether or not they should, or should not, use the first overall pick in the upcoming draft to address the need. Regardless of the opinions that come from that discussion, we can all agree that Andy Reid and John Dorsey need to bring in at least two, if not three, new QBs. It’s impossible to miss just how bad things have become for the team at the position.
Just in case the memories have started to fade, or if you’ve finally managed to block them out, let me reopen the wounds. It’s important that we always keep things in perspective and remembering how this season went will make what are hopefully better days ahead seem even brighter.
It shouldn’t be difficult for things to improve considering Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn combined to throw for 2,937 yards, 8 touchdowns, 20 interceptions and a 57.6 completion percentage. In addition to accounting for five of the six 200+ yard games and the only 300+ yard game, Cassel had a rushing TD in week one – the only one of it’s kind for the duo all year. Ricky Stanzi of course was apparently so bad that the coaching staff never saw fit to give him a chance.
So here we go with the Chiefs QB performances from 2012 ranked, in order, from the best to the worst. Cassel and Quinn split time in week 11 so our list is 17 deep even though they played 16 games. I did not include Quinn’s two appearances where he attempted a total of six passes.
#1: Brady Quinn (Week 13) 27-21 win against the Carolina Panthers at home
Far and away the best start by any Chiefs QB during 2012, Quinn was almost flawless throwing for 201 yards with 19 completions in 23 attempts. His 2 TS/0 INT performance is extra special considering it was the only time all season that they threw a touchdown without also throwing an interception. QBR: 97.6 / RTG: 132.1
#2: Matt Cassel (Week 1) 24-40 loss to the Atlanta Falcons at home
One of five games with multiple interceptions, it still stands out as the second highest QBR of the year. In addition to 258 yards on 21-33 (63.6%) passing, Cassel also rushed for 20 yards on four attempts with a rushing TD to go with his passing TD. QBR: 87.0 / RTG: 72.5
#3: Matt Cassel (Week 9) 13-31 loss to the San Diego Chargers on the road
In terms of completion percentage (65.5%) it was the third best start of the year and it was also the third best in terms of QBR. In addition to that, aside from the two above this is the start that finds QBR and RTG relatively close to one another and somewhat positive. 181 yards and a pick on 19-29 doesn’t look like much (and it really isn’t) but it is legitimately third. The offensive line gets a tip of the cap as Cassel was only sacked once and wasn’t hit another time. QBR: 59.9 / RTG: 68.3
#4: Matt Cassel (Week 2) 17-35 loss to the Buffalo Bills on the road
We finally come to the lone 300 yard passing effort of the Chiefs season. In the game, he was 23-42 (54.8%) for 301 yards with 2 TDs and 1 INT. This is the only other start aside from Quinn’s week 13 effort that resulted in more touchdowns than interceptions. QBR: 42.3 / RTG: 83.5
#5: Matt Cassel (Week 8) 16-26 loss to the Oakland Raiders at home
There is a strong case to be made that this one belongs further up on the list though it may not be readily apparent why. In the game he went for 218 yards on 20-30 with one touchdown and one pick. Cassel’s 66.7 completion percentage was the second best of the year as was his QB rating in the game. He managed all of that while getting knocked around and without any help from the run game. Through no fault of his own, Jamaal Charles had just four yards on five carries while the Raiders pinned their ears back and went after the QB. They only sacked Cassel twice but they hit and pressured him constantly. QBR: 28.4 / RTG: 85.1
With the top five performances now covered, we hit a large chunk that are fairly interchangeable with one another so it’s time to hit on them in “lightning round” fashion until we get more toward the bottom.
#6: Matt Cassel (Week 3) 27-24 win over the New Orleans Saints on the road
248 yards, 26-44 (59.1%), 0 TD/1 INT, QBR: 45.5 / RTG: 65.3
#7: Brady Quinn (Week 11) 6-28 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals at home
95 yards, 9-14 (64.3%), 0 TD/0 INT, QBR: 17.7 / RTG: 83.9
#8: Matt Cassel (Week 4) 20-37 loss to the San Diego Chargers at home
251 yards, 24-42 (57.1%), 2 TD/3 INT, QBR: 11.9 / RTG: 60.7
#9: Brady Quinn (Week 12) 9-17 loss to the Denver Broncos at home
126 yards, 13-25 (52.0%), 0 TD/1 INT, QBR: 21.0 / RTG: 49.8
#10: Matt Cassel (Week 10) 13-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road
154 yards, 11-26 (42.3%), 0 TD/1 INT, QBR: 23.3 / RTG: 46.0
#11: Matt Cassel (Week 5) 6-9 loss to the Baltimore Ravens at home
92 yards, 9-15 (60.0%), 0 TD/2 INT, QBR: 27.5 / RTG: 38.1
#12: Brady Quinn (Week 6) 10-38 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road
180 yards, 22-38 (57.9%), 0 TD/2 INT, QBR: 15.6 / RTG: 48.1
#13: Brady Quinn (Week 15) 0-15 loss to the Oakland Raiders on the road
136 yards, 18-32 (56.3%), 0 TD/1 INT, QBR: 12.9 / RTG: 53.6
#14: Brady Quinn (Week 14) 7-30 loss to the Cleveland Browns on the road
159 yards, 10-21 (47.6%), 0 TD/1 INT, QBR: 18.7 / RTG: 53.5
#15: Matt Cassel (Week 11) 6-28 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals at home
Now we’re getting into the putrid starts on the season. By far Cassel’s worst outing of the year, it’s the second half of the QB split that took part against the Bengals. Quinn’s half landed him up at #7 but more is and should be expected of Cassel because, as this list can attest, Matt is the better QB. He was 8-16 for 93 yards passing on this day. QBR: 4.9 / RTG: 68.0
#16: Brady Quinn (Week 17) 3-38 loss to the Denver Broncos on the road
This performance may actually be the worst outing of the season but Quinn gets partial credit as it was on the road. He threw for just 49 yards on 7-16 (43.8%) and put up goose eggs in touchdowns and interceptions. But, that last one is a bit misleading. He may not have been picked off but part of that was a result of his throws being so abysmal than neither team could manage to pull them in. QBR: 9.6 / RTG: 51.3
#17: Brady Quinn (Week 16) 13-20 loss to the Indianapolis Colts at home
It would have been nice if Quinn gave the Arrowhead faithful something to cheer for in the final home game of the season. Instead the hearty few that ventured out to the stadium were treated to a QB performance so awful that it could be the stuff of nightmares for years to come. He did throw for 162 on 10-22 (45.5%) but was also intercepted twice and bounced more than a few throws in the general direction of his receivers. In some ways his start at Denver (see #16 above) was worse, but it came against a much better defensive team on the road against a different level of pressure. QBR: 7.8 / RTG: 32.8
Agree or disagree with my order, feel free to share your thoughts on the high points and low points of Chiefs quarterbacking from this year in the comments.