Matt Cassel had a tidy little 58.5 completion percentage, had five touchdowns to nine interceptions, and didn't throw a pass longer than 33 yards. Then he got concussed, and some fans cheered. Then Brady Quinn got the start and he went 22-for-38, with two INTs.
This is the recipe for the single worst quarterback controversy in recorded history. And sure enough, with Cassel cleared to return to practice, the Chiefs have indicated that he and Quinn are in direct competition to get the starting job after the bye week, when Kansas City will undoubtedly return to putting up one embarrassing performance after another.
"What I told them is I'm rotating the quarterbacks," Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel said prior to Tuesday's practice. "They will get equal reps."
This is like sampling thimblefuls of bleach and lye, to decide which one you would rather chug.
There are good arguments for starting either QB. Quinn was a first-round pick. Cassel is making $62.7 million over six years. There are also good arguments for setting your hair on fire vs. crushing your pinky and ring fingers in a door jamb.
Cassel sounds remarkably understanding about having to compete for his job.
"That's part of the deal," Cassel said. "Coach Crennel said in a team meeting and spoke to everybody, that everybody is going get reps this week, that this is the time to evaluate people during the bye week, to try some different things and see where we're at."
Try some ebola, try some anthrax, see where we're at. Matt Cassel has a passer rating of 66.2, good for 33rd in the NFL among qualified players. (Yes, 33rd, in a 32-team league. Both of Tennessee's horrible quarterbacks were better.) Quinn's passer rating in his start was 48.1. This is a choice like Sophie had a choice.
Who do the Chiefs themselves prefer under center? Is it the guy who gives them a better chance to win?
"They're going to favor the guy who gives us the best chance to win," Crennel said. "No, no, I'm sorry about that. They're going to favor the guy who I say is the quarterback. That's who they're going to favor."
Remember, there is always a third choice.
The sweet embrace of death
Cassel practices, but Chiefs hold off on QB decision [Kansas City Star]