You can say what you want about his conversations with Todd "Grizzly Adams" Haley last Sunday against the Vikings. After watching Cassel seize control of his offense late in the second quarter against the Colts, he's now the driving force and has bridged a gap between his unimaginative offensive coordinator, Bill Muir, and his head coach.
For the second week in a row, Cassel had the foresight to change plays at the line of scrimmage and that seemed to spark KC's offense. With the bye week ahead, I hope he takes even more control of the offense because the first 20 or so plays that Muir and Haley called were pitiful.
That lack of creativity and football ingenuity helped the Colts break out to leads of 17-0 and 24-7. It wasn't until Cassel force fed the ball to receivers Dwayne Bowe and Steve Breaston that he had the Colts defense back-peddling.
Add all that to the emergence of running back Jackie Battle, and suddenly the Chiefs' offense looks potent. With first-round pick Jonathan Baldwin back in two weeks when the Chiefs head out to play the Raiders in Oakland, KC's offense could be even better.
The most impressive thing about Sunday's victory was that for the first time this season both the offense and the defense made adjustments at halftime. Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel had a brutal first half, allowing Colts quarterback Curtis Painter to have his way.
But in the second half, with the offense winning the battle of time of possession and points scored, Crennel's defense stiffened up and forced Painter into high throws and crowded passing lanes.
That's quite remarkable when you consider that despite the Colts' banged up offensive line, the Chiefs didn't get a single sack in the game. Even so, they shut down the Colts' running game in the third and fourth quarters and that ultimately sealed their fate on the day.
Granted, this win puts the Chiefs out of the Andrew Luck sweepstakes, but I argue that's a good thing. In fact, I think all the Luck talk has helped Cassel find his groove again.
The Chiefs will go as far as Cassel can take them this season. Right now he's leading them to wins and perhaps a shot at the playoffs. He appears to be in the same kind of groove that led him to a Pro Bowl season a year ago. If he can serve up the deep ball to Bowe, Breaston and Baldwin, the sky is the limit for this Chiefs team.
It took the Chiefs four games to find their stride and in game five they looked like a team that can run off a string of victories.
Will it be enough to get back in the AFC West race?
Over the next four games, the Chiefs are on the road just once. If they can beat the Raiders in two weeks, they'll have erased their 0-3 start and enjoy the friendly confines of Arrowhead Stadium as they take on the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos.
With these four games they can change the course of the 2011 season.
If the Chiefs pull it off, they have enough heart to overcome almost anything.
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Are the Chiefs a different team?
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