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"Manning" up when it matters most

11/1/2010

The Houston Texans opened the season with an impressive win over the Indianapolis Colts, but in order for the Texans to seize control of the AFC South, they (and QB Matt Schaub, specifically) will need to match the late-game efficiency of their counterparts in Indianapolis when the pressure is on.

Passing When Score Within 7 Points
4th Quarter and Overtime, Last 2 Seasons

Led by Peyton Manning, the Colts have gone 8-1 in games decided by seven points or less since 2009. Manning has been at his best in the fourth quarter and overtime when the score has been within seven points, averaging 8.9 yards per attempt and passing for a first down every 2.3 drop backs -- both of which lead the league.

Schaub has shown the ability to make plays in close games -- he ranks fourth in completion percentage during these high-pressure scenarios -- but has had trouble avoiding the big mistake.

He’s been sacked once every 23 drop backs (15th in NFL) and averaged an interception every 36.7 attempts (13th in NFL) in the fourth quarter and overtime of seven-point games the last two seasons.

Most notably, the Texans have lost all three of the games in which Schaub has thrown a late interception, including one in each of the Texans’ two losses to the Colts last season.

Matt Schaub
SchaubWhen Manning and Schaub meet at Lucas Oil Stadium on Monday night (ESPN, coverage begins at 7 ET), odds are that the two quarterbacks will have an opportunity to improve upon these numbers. Five of the last eight meetings between these two teams have been decided by seven points or fewer. After taking a look at these numbers, it’s no surprise that Indy has come away with the win in four of those five contests.