A Look At Lions Quarterback Matt Cassel‘s 2017 Season And How He Fits in 2018.
Matt Cassel has been a perennial backup in the NFL going all the way back to 2005 when he was added to the New England Patriots. However, there was a three year window in which he was a starter for the Patriots one season, followed by two years with the Kansas City Chiefs. This was followed by two more years in a limited role with the Chiefs before traveling to Minnesota for two seasons.
He then went to the Buffalo Bills for a brief stint there for a game before heading to Dallas to backup Tony Romo for the Cowboys. His last stop before arriving in Detroit was with the Tennessee Titans the past two seasons, backing up the mobile quarterback Marcus Mariota.
In 2017, Cassel started just one game and played in another. He went 25-42 (59%), for 165 passing yards and one touchdown. He also made quite a few mistakes. Cassel threw two interceptions because of poor decision making, as well as holding onto the ball a bit too long, leading to a whopping 8 sacks in just over one game played.
Since signing with the Detroit Lions back in April, Cassel has been thrust into another backup quarterback role with star quarterback Matthew Stafford leading the charge for the Lions offense. It is not a sure thing by any means for Cassel who will have to earn that role by beating out the Lions 2016 draft pick Jake Rudock for the job.
Cassel Fighting for the Backup Quarterback Job
Cassel will be 36 to start this season, which is not helping his cause any. In each of his last 5 seasons, he failed to crack 60% completion percentage, even just one year. While his interception totals have been down the past couple seasons, so has his total play time. In actuality, his interception percentage has increased the past couple seasons, showing that Cassel could very much be on the decline.
This really hurts the chance for Cassel to win the backup quarterback job in Detroit. Rudock has been adequate during his time as the backup in Detroit. Rudock has youth over Cassel and he has years in offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter’s offense. With Stafford’s maturation, there comes a time where an older backup quarterback to mentor him is no longer necessary. The Lions brought Cassel in to compete with Rudock during training and it is likely that is all he will do for Detroit in 2018.