Kansas City, Mo. Preparing for Oakland this week has triggered memories for Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel that are both sad and uplifting.
Last season, when he was with New England and the Patriots were getting ready to travel for a game against the Raiders, Greg Cassel died. Matt lost his father on the Tuesday before the Sunday game.
He left the team for two days to be with his family and help make funeral arrangements. Then he had a long and emotional talk with coach Bill Belichick and his offensive coordinator, and decided to go ahead and play.
“It was a tough game,” Cassel said Thursday. “It’s a tough go any time you lose your father.”
Determined to honor his father with a good performance, Cassel set his emotions aside and threw a career-best four touchdown passes to lead the Patriots to victory.
“It was such a whirlwind of emotion,” he said.
Those feelings and memories have been tugging at Cassel all week as he gets ready for his first trip back to Oakland.
“It was a great way to honor him by getting a victory up there,” Cassel said. “The team rallied around me. It was a special day in my career, no doubt about that.”
The Chiefs and Raiders will play at 3:05 p.m. Sunday