Wednesday, September 11, 2013
QB Watch: Texans' Matt Schaub
By Tania Ganguli
A weekly analysis of the Houston Texans' quarterback play.
Rewind: Monday night's game started poorly for Matt Schaub with an interception on the very first play. But the offensive half of the Texans' second-half comeback was driven by Schaub, whose third-quarter play was superb. Schaub completed 11 of 12 passes, had a QBR of 91.7 (ESPN's statistical marker that tops out at 100 and considers down, distance and time as well as the box score) and a passer rating of 139.2. He threw one touchdown during that quarter and began another drive that ended in a touchdown in the fourth quarter. On the night, Schaub threw for 71 yards outside the pocket, the highest total of any quarterback on opening weekend, which isn't terribly surprising. Since joining the Texans in 2007, Schaub ranks fourth in passer rating and QBR on throws outside the pocket.
Fast-forward: Against the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, the Tennessee Titans' defense ranked third in net yards per pass attempt, allowing only 4.94, and second in sacks per pass attempt. They were good against the run, too, which is important for the Texans' play-action passing game. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw one interception and Pittsburgh didn't score any offensive points until the fourth quarter as the Steelers were part of the league's opening Sunday safety parade.
Against pressure: On Monday night, Schaub threw all three of his touchdown passes against five or more rushers. Overall, though, he completed 13 of 18 attempts in those situations on 20 drop-backs. Both second-half sacks came with extra pressure. Interestingly, his passer rating was 107.2 and QBR was 27.6. Against four or fewer rushers, Schaub had the fifth-best QBR on opening weekend behind Michael Vick, Andy Dalton, Aaron Rodgers and Geno Smith. He completed 21 of 27 attempts for 223 yards.
Prediction: The Titans' defense is impressive, but their offense is not. Thus, the Texans won't find themselves in the deep hole they did Monday night and won't have to throw the ball 27 times in the second half. Schaub will throw at least one touchdown pass, but it will be a more balanced attack from the Texans' offense, which had 28 rushes and 45 passes overall in San Diego.