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Matt Cassel the culprit of Kansas City Chiefs' turnovers

The Kansas City Chiefs have been handing games away all season, one reason behind their tumultuous 1-3 start.

With an NFL-worst 15 turnovers, the Chiefs have watched their gaffes materialize into 58 points for opponents. At the heart of this is quarterback Matt Cassel, who is regressing before our eyes and might need a big game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday to keep his starting job.

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Cassel tossed three interceptions and completed just 53.1 percent of his passes in last week's loss to the San Diego Chargers, who barely rushed him. The Ravens won't go as easy on Cassel. This isn't Baltimore's finest defense, but Cassel has made it simple for opponents. His seven picks are second only to Tony Romo, who imploded with five interceptions against the Chicago Bears on Monday night.

The rash of turnovers have put Kansas City in the hole early in games -- they've trailed in 204 minutes out of 249 -- and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll told The Kansas City Star he's had to adjust the game plan because of it.

"I've cut down on some plays here or there as we've gone," Daboll said. "It's been so early in the game the last few weeks that you can still go with your plan. Then it gets to that certain point where you've just got to be ready to go and you have a condensed package and you have to start throwing it around a little bit."

It doesn't help that Kansas City is last in the league in generating turnovers, but it's the problems on offense that might eventually lead to Brady Quinn's first start since 2010. Cassel isn't the only guilty party, but his play factors heavily because he's failed when they've leaned on him. The Chiefs have paid Cassel $40.5 million over the first three years of his six-year pact, but NFL Network's Michael Lombardi reported this week that Kansas City can part ways with the passer for cheap after this season.

Cassel has never been on a shorter leash to prove he belongs.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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