Wednesday, October 2, 2013
QB Watch: Texans' Matt Schaub
By Tania Ganguli
A weekly analysis of the Houston Texans' quarterback play.
Rewind: Schaub threw two touchdowns, two interceptions and for 355 yards. A lot of what happened as the Texans' frittered away a 17-point halftime lead wasn't Matt Schaub's fault, but he made a costly error with just less than three minutes left in the game. Up seven, Schaub forced a pass he shouldn't have that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. The score tied the game and Schaub looked rattled the rest of the game and in his postgame interview.
Fast-forward: Though some fans want them to, there has been no thought in the Texans organization to bench Schaub, who is the Texans' best option at quarterback and who has played quite well at times, especially as he led comeback efforts in Weeks 1 and 2. Schaub will have to recover mentally from having thrown a pick-six in each of the past three games. In the past 20 years, three other quarterbacks have done that, but none have done it four weeks in a row. If he lets it linger, that can spell bigger problems for the rest of the season. This week he'll face a 49ers defense that doesn't give up many yards against the pass (190.5 per game), but also isn't as adept at interceptions as the Seahawks. The 49ers have three interceptions this season, only one fewer than the Texans do.
Play action again: The Texans' play-action game is still near the bottom of the league. Schaub's QBR on play-action passing is 22.1, ranking him 28th among eligible quarterbacks. He's attempted 31 play-action passes, ranking him 11th in the NFL, but has only completed 61.3 percent of them, ranking him 18th. Only two quarterbacks have been sacked more often than Schaub (four times) in such situations: Russell Wilson and Jets quarterback Geno Smith.
Prediction: I say Schaub doesn't go interception free in this game, but he also doesn't make history by becoming the only player in the past 20 years to throw a pick-six in four consecutive games. I also predict at least two passing touchdowns for the embattled quarterback.