Cassel takes a step back with poor performance vs. Bengals

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 23, 2013 - 6:22 AM

The Vikings quarterback had four turnovers in the loss.

– The Vikings have allowed at least 40 points three times in one season for the first time since … (pause for dramatic effect) … 1984.

Anytime, someone mentions the words “1984” and “Vikings” together, it’s never a good thing.

Ever.

But Sunday’s 42-14 loss to the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium wasn’t just a defensive fiasco. Quarterback Matt Cassel’s season-high four turnovers led to 14 first-half points and a 21-7 deficit early in the second quarter.

It also extinguished any good feelings that remained from Cassel’s 382-yard performance in a 48-30 upset of the Eagles the week before.

“As good as last week was, then you come in here and it was as bad as it gets,” said Cassel, who fell to 2-3 as a starter this year. “We stunk it up here, quite frankly.”

A week after reaching their highest point total since 1998, the Vikings’ offensive production Sunday was staggeringly poor. The offense went 0-for-9 on third downs, 0-for-2 on fourth downs and ran 29 fewer plays (48) than the Bengals (77). Or, put it this way: When the Bengals went up 35-7 in the third quarter, they have more touchdowns (five) than the Vikings had first downs (three).

Cassel completed just 13 passes for 114 of the team’s 209 yards of offense. He was intercepted three times, sacked four times and posted a 32.6 passer rating.

How bad was that passer rating? Well, it’s the third-worst rating of Cassel’s 87-game NFL career. His worst two ratings were a 19.1 in 2010 and a 19.8 in his first NFL game.

So, once again, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier is faced with making another decision at quarterback heading into Sunday’s season finale against the Lions at Mall of America Field. Does Frazier give Cassel his sixth start, Christian Ponder his 10th start or Josh Freeman his second start?

Asked if Cassel will start against the Lions, Frazier said, “We’ll sit down and talk about it, but my initial thought would be ‘Yes.’”

Cassel is hoping for one more opportunity to leave a positive lasting impression before deciding whether to opt out of the final year of his contract.

“Obviously,” said Cassel, “you want to get the taste out of your mouth.”

The taste was bad from the third snap of the game when unblocked blitzers Vincent Rey and safety Reggie Nelson strip-sacked Cassel on third down. Defensive end Carlos Dunlap returned the fumble 42 yards to the 4-yard line, setting up the first touchdown.

Eighteen minutes later, Cassel made his worst throw of the game. Looking for Greg Jennings on a short route in heavy traffic, Cassel threw an ill-advised pass, allowing Rey to jump the route and return the interception 25 yards for a touchdown and a 21-7 lead.

Twenty-one points later, this year’s team had joined the 1984 (3-13) and 1965 (7-7) teams as the only ones to allow 40 points at least three times. The teams in 1984 and 1965 each did it four times. Of course, this year’s team still has one more crack at it.

  • related content

  • Rand: A narrative shift on Cassel, Frazier

    Sunday December 22, 2013

    A few themes have emerged in recent weeks pertaining to the Vikings:

  • Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel, being sacked in the fourth quarter Sunday in Cincinnati, had the third-worst QB rating of his career.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - LP: C. Frias 2 FINAL
Colorado - WP: J. De La Rosa 16
San Francisco - WP: S. Romo 4 FINAL
Arizona - LP: A. Reed 2
Boston - LP: C. Buchholz 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: F. Liriano 9
Toronto - LP: J. Happ 1 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: B. Norris 6
Washington - LP: R. Detwiler 1 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: A. Wood 3
Miami - WP: H. Alvarez 4 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: D. Gee 3
NY Yankees - WP: B. McCarthy 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: A. Cobb 2
Cincinnati - LP: D. Corcino 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: K. Hendricks 3
Chicago WSox - LP: C. Sale 2 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 6
Cleveland - WP: C. Carrasco 2 FINAL
Houston - LP: B. Oberholtzer 0
Detroit - LP: D. Price 4 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: K. Gibson 8
Milwaukee - LP: M. Fiers 0 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 2
Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 0 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: C. Wilson 5
Texas - WP: R. Ross Jr. 6 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Doolittle 1
Philadelphia - WP: C. Hamels 5 FINAL
San Diego - LP: E. Stults 2
Tampa Bay 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary

ADVERTISEMENT

Advertisement
Golden Gavel by Star Tribune

Countdown to great deals

Bid Sept. 21-29

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Do you support Wednesday's decision to sideline Adrian Peterson again?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close