Analysis: Matt Schaub's "Winner" Label, The 16 "Biggest" Games Of The Schaub Era
FINAL RECORD: 6-10 (4-3 home, 2-7 away)
SCHAUB FINAL "BIG GAME" STATS: 365-549, 4125 yards, 19 TD, 16 INT, 88.19 rating
Schaub in 6 WINS: 124-180, 1503 yards, 10 TD, 2 INT, 108.17 rating
Schaub in 10 LOSSES: 241-369, 2622 yards, 9 TD, 14 INT, 78.44 rating
SCHAUB ACTUAL SEASON DOPPELGANGER: The numbers are strikingly similar to 2010, a season in which Schaub started all 16 games, and the team compiled the exact same 6-10 record as he had in the games I selected above. His stats are fairly similar as well (including the exact same number of completions): 365-574, 4370 yards, 24 TD, 12 INT, 92.0 rating. During that season, the Texans were strapped with one of the worst defenses in league history, and if you look at the defensive stats in the Texans ten losses above, that part of the doppelgänger holds up as well. The biggest margin between "Big Game" Schaub and 2010 Schaub is in the turnover department. 16 interceptions in those 16 "big" games (versus 12 in 2010), and not just that he threw the picks, but what happened after he threw them....
NOT SO SILENT KILLER: ...the 16 interceptions themselves are enough of a killer in that they forfeit possession, but add in that the 16 turnovers in those "big" games led to nine touchdowns and three field goals for a total (including one two point conversion) of 73 points. This includes two pick sixes thrown by Schaub. BRUUUUTAL.
Yes, Gary, Matt Schaub is a winner insomuch as he's won more games than he's lost as a starter (46-37 overall), but in the sample space of "spotlight" situations, the numbers don't support your assessment.
The Texans have elite playmakers all over the field, and since the 11-1 start last season, they are 4-5 and plagued with pervasive red zone and turnover margin issues. So a problem exists somewhere, and I think we've all narrowed it down to the most acute problems being the quarterback and the head coach.
And this is where it gets painful -- despite those elite playmakers, the head coach doesn't let the quarterback fully use them (see: Johnson, Andre, end zone targets), however, the quarterback also isn't dynamic enough to overcome the predictability of a conservative game plan. The masses have opined for so long that "Schaub is the perfect guy to run Gary Kubiak's offense" without really asking ourselves "Do we really want Gary Kubiak's offense?"
It's a mind numbing circle -- Schaub is holding back the Texans, Kubiak is holding back Schaub. It's logistically impossible, and yet it's happening in front of our eyes. We all know exactly what I'm taking about!
But we came here to assess Matt Schaub "the winner," so I leave you with this: Think about how often you've spent the last three weeks discussing Schaub's penchant for throwing five yards short of the first down marker on third down, which he does REGULARLY. Think about how much this has been a topic on talk radio, and think about how lame and slow the offense has looked in most of the games I listed above. Now add in the back breaking mistakes, the pick sixes, the red zone failure.
Oftentimes, when a head coach's first assessment of a guy is "He's a winner" it means that he can't really think of an actual physical, football skill that defines the player. As odd as it sounds, "winner" can be a bit of a cop out assessment. Peyton Manning is defined by his football IQ, Tom Brady is defined by his pocket presence, Drew Brees is defined by his pinpoint accuracy. Hell, even Jay Cutler is defined by his rifle-like arm strength (and his douchy, frat boy, pout face).
Schaub is defined by what?
So he's been a slightly above average quarterback for a team that's won more games of late, a two time defending division champion, a two year success oasis what had been a Texans desert of mediocrity. But division titles and single playoff wins comprise another day at the office for over half the quarterbacks in the league.
The fact of the matter is that the only times Matt Schaub is a franchise quarterback is when he picks up his game check each week, and if that hasn't changed by the time he's 32 years old, I'm fairly certain it will never change.
But keep telling yourself that, Gary. If you believe it, I suppose that's what matters.
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