Jefferson City, MO 18° View Live Radar Fri H 31° L 20° Sat H 40° L 32° Sun H 46° L 32° Weather Sponsored By:

Cassel throws 3 INTs in first playoff game

Cassel throws 3 INTs in first playoff game

January 10th, 2011 in News

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Matt Cassel's first playoff start did not go well.

The Chiefs quarterback threw three interceptions and was sacked three times in Kansas City's 30-7 loss Sunday to the Baltimore Ravens.

All season, Cassel was careful with the football. He threw just three interceptions at home in eight regular-season games.

But against Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and the rest of the Ravens' defense, Cassel completed 9-of-18 passes for 70 yards. And the running game didn't help much, either, with Dexter McCluster and Jamaal Charles losing fumbles.

"You can't turn the football over and expect to win," Chiefs coach Todd Haley said. "You can't take sacks, and you can't give up scoring opportunities in playoff games. Every point's going to count."

Cassel's second interception late in the third quarter was converted into a Ravens touchdown that extended Baltimore's lead to 23-7.

Cassel's name had surfaced as a Pro Bowl candidate, but he didn't look the part Sunday.

"I forced a few balls in there and it did not turn out well," said Cassel, who credits New England's Tom Brady with helping him develop into an NFL starter. "As leader of the team and a leader of the offense, I can't do that. Our hats go off to the Ravens. They have a good defense. We knew that coming in. Hopefully, they do well going forward. But this one definitely hurts a little bit."

When Brady got hurt in the 2008 season opener, Cassel came off the Patriots bench and led them to an 11-win season. But they missed the playoffs. And the Baltimore defense is a tough way for any playoff rookie to break in.

"We went into the half down 10-7 and the game was in reach," said Cassel. "We got into the second half and it was just a lot of bad football on our part."