Matt Cassel made a winning return to Arrowhead Stadium, even if it was just a preseason game.
The quarterback who was booed, benched and eventually released two years ago by the Chiefs, threw for 152 yards and a touchdown Saturday night, leading the Minnesota Vikings to a 30-12 win over a scuffling Kansas City team dealing with a rash of injuries and suspensions.
Cassel also threw an interception before turning things over to Teddy Bridgewater in the third quarter. The rookie quarterback, who is still challenging for the starting job, threw a pair of touchdown passes to tight end Allen Reisner less than 2 minutes apart to seal the win.
They still have not scored a touchdown in 16 possessions this preseason.
While the third preseason game is typically a dress rehearsal for the regular season, both teams sat plenty of star power due to injuries and personal reasons.
Running back Adrian Peterson, excused from practice this week, dressed for the Vikings but did not play. Chiefs counterpart
Other noteworthy players missing included Vikings safety Robert Blanton (hamstring) and defensive tackle Linval Joseph (calf), and Chiefs safety
All the missing pieces allowed several players trying to secure starting jobs and roster spots a chance to shine with the first round of cuts due Tuesday.
Jeff Linkenbach and
Matt Asiata, starting in Peterson's place, ran for 48 yards on 11 carries.
Not everything went perfectly for Cassel after his long touchdown pass to Patterson gave the Vikings a 7-0 lead. He was sacked on third down on their ensuing possession, and was stripped of the ball by the Chiefs'
The Chiefs moved the ball well in the first half, but two promising drives ended when Smith was intercepted by Captain Munnerlyn in the end zone and by Chad Greenway near the goal line.
Blair Walsh kicked a pair of field goals to extend Minnesota's lead to 13-5, and both teams pulled their starters in the third quarter. Bridgewater and Reisner connected twice in a span of 1 minute, 44 seconds later in the quarter to put things out of reach.