The Matt Schaub Jersey Barbecue
In the superhero movie that is the NFL season, Schaub's one of those cops on the street, fighting the good fight with a pistol and taser while Rodgers, Manning, and even Wilson at key times on Sunday, are frying up bad guys with lasers from their eyeballs.
In today's NFL, you need a superhero who takes those half dozen or so plays where their powers are necessary and makes them the difference between winning and losing.
Because here's the thing on Schaub -- if a Texans' passing play gets executed perfectly on all levels, the line blocks it right, the primary receivers run their routes and get comfortably open, Schaub (like dozens of others) can hit wide open guys.
However, if there is one glitch in the plan -- pressure up front, tight coverage, wrong route -- it is a stone cold lock that the result will be a sack, a forced throw, an intentional throwaway, or (all too often lately) a back breaking mistake. Because the robotic, methodical Schaub is incapable of improvisation, physically for sure and, it appears oftentimes, mentally as well.
That's how plays like the soul crusher on Sunday, the 58 yard interception return for a touchdown by Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman late in the game, happen. Schaub keeps running the play as its drawn up even in the face of a blitzing linebacker and tight coverage on Owen Daniels. There was nothing happening on that play as it unfolded that said throwing it to Daniels was a good idea.
Yet Schaub did it anyway.
Truth be told, Kubiak is accurate in his scathing self-assessment in one respect -- throwing the ball there was the incorrect call. There are times where Kubiak should be more aggressive. Up seven points, 3rd and 4 at Seattle's 40 yard line with three minutes to go in a game that your defense is dominating is not one of those times.
That said, for Kubiak to take the blame for Schaub's insanely poor decision on the throw is silly. Did Kubiak call the wrong play? Probably. Did Kubiak put Schaub in a "bad situation"? No. Schaub screwed Schaub. Kubiak taking the brunt is like a parent blaming himself for their kid getting a speeding ticket because he bought the kid a car.
Matt Schaub can do nothing off schedule, and with an offensive line that is banged up in spots and not very good in others, that will be the kiss of death for the Texans. The overly conservative head coach has hitched his wagon to a null set at quarterback, a null set who is now prone to game changing mistakes every week, and together the two of them have chained the elite defense and what's left of Andre Johnson's career to their legs for a ride to nowhere on the ShitBird Express.
Next stop, San Francisco.
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