As the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback vanished into the locker room, the Arrowhead Stadium crowd seemed to drink up the sight of backup Brady Quinn strolling into the huddle. Quinn didn't change the world, but he wasn't Cassel, and that was enough for Chiefs fans.
Cassel's afternoon was an unbridled disaster. He finished 9-of-15 passing for 92 yards with two interceptions and a costly fumble on a quarterback sneak to wipe out a potential third-quarter scoring drive.
From the start, Romeo Crennel's two-part plan against the Ravens' defense was clear. Part 1: Hide Cassel far, far away. Part 2: Hand the ball to Jamaal Charles as part of a broken-record strategy that paid off -- initially.
Kansas City ate up 19-plus minutes of the first half by feeding Charles no less than 20 times. He turned that into 125 yards, marking the first time the Ravens have allowed a 100-yard rusher in the first half since December 1998.
The Chiefs called 30 runs to just seven first-half passes in an effort to keep the ball out of Joe Flacco's hands. It was an effective strategy at the outset, but Baltimore adjusted and snuffed out Charles for much of the second half, holding him to just 15 more yards all afternoon.
Bottom line: The Chiefs can't trust Cassel. Not after today. Not after a season's worth of drive-killing turnovers.
Kansas City has yet to hold a lead in regulation this season, and that has everything to do with the 1-4 team's quarterback. You can't win games from behind with a turnover machine like Cassel at the wheel. We expect the driver to change before the leaves turn.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.