Through 5 starts, Cassel measures up to Brady

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
Less than two weeks ago, New England Patriots fans were lobbying for quarterback Matt Cassel to return to the sideline so rookie Kevin O'Connell could take a shot.

One game later, Cassel's all right.

"That's part of it I guess," Cassel said. "You have to take the good with the bad. As the quarterback, they are always looking at you, whether it's good or bad. This week, it obviously turned out on the plus side. Hopefully, we will continue that."

Cassel earned AFC offensive player of the week honors for his performance in Monday night's pummeling of the Denver Broncos. Cassel took six sacks, but he completed 18 of 24 passes for 185 yards, three touchdowns and a 136.3 passer rating.

And get this: Cassel's stats are remarkably similar to Tom Brady's when he took over in 2001.

Through their first five starts, they both went 3-2. Brady averaged only 16 more yards per game than Cassel has, while Cassel's 65.5 completion percentage is slightly higher than Brady's.

Brady threw seven touchdowns and four interceptions. Cassel has thrown five touchdowns and as many interceptions.