Matt Cassel QB MIN 4 Months

Cassel has been named the Vikings' starting quarterback for Week 1, NFL.com reports.

Cassel has transitioned well into new offensive coordinator Norv Turner's system during the preseason, averaging 9.4 yards per attempt while completing nearly 67 percent of his passes. The veteran was expected to edge out Teddy Bridgewater as the rookie first-rounder adjusts to running an NFL offense and coach Mike Zimmer confirmed Cassel's starting status to his team Monday. Cassel represents a very serviceable stand-in quarterback to bide time until Bridgewater is ready to become the starter. However, with Minnesota's opening three games against the Rams, Patriots, and Saints, Cassel could face a trial by fire versus three strong defenses.

Matt Cassel QB MIN 4 Months

Cassel completed 9-of-17 passes for 152 yards, with one touchdown and one interception in Saturday's preseason game against the Chiefs.

Cassel played deep into the third quarter, leaving Teddy Bridgewater to work with the second-string offense. The usage implies that Cassel is the favorite to start Week 1, but he was already thought to be ahead in the competition, and the Vikings haven't made anything official. Cassel's highlight in Saturday's game was a well-placed deep ball to Cordarrelle Patterson that went for a 53-yard touchdown. On the other hand, Cassel threw a bad pick, was sacked three times, and fumbled once. Bridgewater completed four-of-seven passes for 40 yards and two touchdowns, as two of his drives started inside the Chiefs' 10-yard line.

Matt Cassel QB MIN 4 Months

Cassel will start Minnesota's third preseason game on Saturday at Kansas City, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. However, head coach Mike Zimmer said Teddy Bridgewater may see time with the first-team offense during the game.

Zimmer said he's not ready yet to name a starting quarterback. Cassel has been impressive in two preseason games and appears to have a lead on the starting job, but Bridgewater improved in his second game and him getting time with the first-string offense may mean the competition remains open.

Matt Cassel QB MIN 4 Months

Cassel was 12-of-16 for 153 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's preseason win over Arizona. He started the game and played the full first half.

Cassel was impressive in his half of work as he led the Vikings to a touchdown and field-goal drive against the first- and second-team defense of Arizona. However, Teddy Bridgewater was also impressive by going 16-of-20 with two touchdowns and leading a late game-winning drive (albeit against a third-string defense). Cassel should remain ahead in the competition for the starting job after this game, but he likely hasn't sealed the deal given Bridgewater's outing.

Matt Cassel QB MIN 4 Months

Cassel may play the entire first half in Saturday's preseason game, ESPN reports.

It appears Cassel has widened his lead on the starting quarterback job the past week with Teddy Bridgewater having a mediocre performance in the first preseason game and having struggled at time in practice (five interceptions last two practices). Cassel's extended playing time may also be a sign his lead on the starting job is growing, but it's still early in the preseason and a poor or strong showing by either quarterback could quickly change the depth chart.

Matt Cassel QB MIN 4 Months

Cassel will start Minnesota's second preseason game against Arizona, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

Cassel outperformed rookie Teddy Bridgewater in the first preseason game, but both may again get time with the first-team offense. Cassel played three series in the first game and could see more time in the second game. It's still early in the quarterback race, but Cassel is still in the lead to start Week 1 at this point.

Matt Cassel QB MIN 4 Months

Cassel outplayed Teddy Bridgewater in Friday's preseason opener against the Raiders, completing five-of-six passes for 62 yards while leading the Vikings to a touchdown on his only drive.

Cassel is believed to have the early leg up, and he took another step toward the starting job Friday night. Bridgewater took a pair of sacks -- one with a fumble -- and completed 6-of-13 passes for 49 yards. However, it's still too early to rule out the rookie, as the second and third preseason games are typically far more important than the first and fourth. What's more, practice performance will also play a role in the Vikings' final decision.

Matt Cassel QB MIN 4 Months

Cassel is listed as the top QB on the Vikings' unofficial depth chart in advance of Friday's preseason opener against the Raiders, 1500espn.com reports.

Though Cassel will start Friday's preseason opener, the report notes that rookie Teddy Bridgewater (listed as the team's No. 2 QB) will also see work with the Vikings' starters in the contest. Meanwhile, as expected, Christian Ponder is listed as the team's third-stringer.

Matt Cassel QB MIN 5 Months

Speaking Thursday, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer confirmed Matt Cassel is the team's No. 1 quarterback heading into camp.

That's been the expectation all along. No. 32 pick Teddy Bridgewater should give Cassel a run for his money, but the Vikes appear content to go into Week 1 with the veteran under center. However, we fully expect Bridgewater to make starts this season, likely early.

Matt Cassel QB MIN 5 Months2 Comments

USA Today's Tom Pelissero considers Matt Cassel the "heavy favorite" to start at quarterback for the Vikings.

Pelissero is a former longtime Vikings beat reporter, so his opinion is notable. Teddy Bridgewater was mixed in with the first-team offense this spring, but is pretty clearly behind Cassel. Tape gurus Greg Cosell and Ron Jaworski have both stated Cassel is a better fit for Norv Turner's offense than Bridgewater. Turner pushes the ball vertically, which is Bridgewater's weakness.