After finishing with one of the worst records in 2009, the Chiefs find themselves right in the middle of a playoff race in the AFC West. They currently sit at 8-5 on the year and their success this season is in large part because of the play of Matt Cassel. Unfortunately, the reigning AFC Offensive Player of the Month got some bad news in anticipation of the biggest game of the year for Kansas City and the Chiefs found out just how important Cassel is. After undergoing an appendectomy, Cassel wasn’t able to make the trip to San Diego, the Chiefs got belted by the Chargers, the offense failed to even get on the scoreboard, and the AFC West playoff race got even tighter.
The Chiefs still the lead the Chargers in the AFC West, but if they don’t get their MVP candidate back this weekend, their playoff hopes could take a huge hit.
Matt Cassel joined WHB in KC with Soren Petro to talk about when he first started feeling pain, whether or not he expects to play this weekend, how he is feeling in his recovery, how tough it was to not be able to play against the Chargers in such a critical game, and why the Chiefs struggle so much on the road.
On when he started feeling pain:
“It started late Tuesday night and then I knew it wasn’t some passing thing when 5:30 rolled around and it had yet to go away and it started to progressively get worse. I headed into the stadium and the doctors agreed that I probably should go in and get it checked. We went in, they checked it out, and all their suspicions were true that I needed to get my appendix out so they went right in and took it out.”
On his status:
“I’m day to day. I think they’ll just evaluate as we go forward and go from there.”
On how tough it was to not play in such a critical game:
“Extremely hard. I think that our team has built something special this year and we’re moving in the right direction. To not be there against a division rival, the San Diego Chargers, who are a very good team, and not be able to be out there with your team is very, very hard.”
On when the decision to not play happened:
“We kinda took it down to the last minute. The coaching staff, the training staff, the doctors all discussed it and thought it was too close obviously from the surgery to the game time to actually go out there and play.”
On why they didn’t get Dwayne Bowe involved more against the Chargers:
“Again, it’s hard for me to sit here and evaluate the game from the television set and say I think we could’ve done this or this better or we could’ve gotten him going by doing this because its just too difficult to watch the game from that perspective. Dwayne’s a great player and we expect big things from him down the stretch.”
On the struggles on the road:
“I think that looking at some of our road games, we’ve had two games that have gotten away from us. Obviously this past game and the Denver game, but other than that we have played competitive on the road throughout the course of the year. We’ve had two games that I can think of off the top of my head at Oakland and Houston where if the ball bounces one way or another at the end of the game, we have two victories on the road and we’re rocking and rolling here. We didn’t get those victories. The name of the game when we go on the road is to finish. We’ve been in some games here on the road where we just need to finish out. Whether it’s us with the ball in a four minute situation or the defense needs to make one more play or anything like that. We just have to find a way to have to finish these ball games and walk away from there with a victory.”