Wednesday, September 25, 2013
QB Watch: Texans' Matt Schaub
By Tania Ganguli
A weekly analysis of the Houston Texans' quarterback play.
Rewind: Sunday's first loss of the season didn't represent a great afternoon for anybody on offense, really. Texans quarterback Matt Schaub threw another interception that was returned for a touchdown and called on himself to play better after a game in which he averaged only 5.5 yards per attempt and had a 72.8 passer rating, his lowest this season. The mettle he showed in his first two games didn't return.
Fast-forward: Against Baltimore, Schaub faced a defense that was fearsome up front, but had major question marks on the back end. This weekend he'll face a team that's strong up front and even stronger in the defensive backfield. Loquacious cornerback Richard Sherman is just one piece of a very effective group. The Seahawks rank first in total defensive yards allowed and passing yards allowed. They've notched five interceptions and allowed only one passing touchdown so far. The Seahawks have given up 27 points this season, but 17 of those came in a blowout win over the Jaguars.
Play-action game: Quite troubling for Texans coach Gary Kubiak is that the Texans' play-action passing game hasn't worked this year as it has in the past.
"Our play-pass is something we’ve been pretty good at around here," Kubiak said. "It goes with us running the ball. It hasn’t been good early in the season because of some of the types of games we’ve been in. ... It’s got to improve. There are too many negative plays coming from it."
Schaub's average play-action passes have traveled 3.3 yards downfield this season, shortest in the NFL, according to ESPN Stats & Information. From 2011 to 2012, he averaged 9.8 yards downfield on play-action passes.
Prediction: The Seahawks' defense will pose the biggest challenge Schaub has faced so far. It's the only team that has posted better numbers overall and against the pass than the Texans' defense. I'll predict an interception but also a touchdown pass for Schaub.