Houston Texans Matt Schaub might not be as bad as you think

When compared to John Elway, Matt Schaub might surprise some fans in Houston. Photo: Matt Schaub has drawn the ire of fans in Houston/AP

LOS ANGELES, October 7, 2013 — After their third consecutive loss in the last two weeks, the Houston Texans are now sitting at 2-3 going into week six. It has been a puzzling season for many fans in Houston, despite boasting the number one ranked defense in the league along with an offense that ranks in the top five.

Enigmatic is a word that comes to mind when describing this team’s performance. The talent is definitely there, but the results have not been so far. During this tumultuous season, whether fairly or unfairly all fingers have been pointed directly at Texans QB Matt Schaub as the reason for their failure.  Nothing was more symbolic of this when Texans fans started burning Schaub jerseys after the 23-20 loss to Seattle. 

SEE RELATED: Are the Denver Broncos more hype than reality?

The growing perception among Texans fans is that Schaub, much like Cowboys QB Tony Romo, is a bad overall quarterback that always seems to come up short in big games. It is an understandable argument, especially as there has been very little evidence in recent weeks to prove otherwise. After the last three losses, and a total QBR rating of just 35; one would have to be insane to make an argument in his defense. 

Last night’s embarrassing loss against the San Francisco 49ers gave fans yet another reason to call for back up TJ Yates to take over the reins this season. Is Matt Schaub really as bad as people perceive him to be?

When you think of Matt Schaub, elite is definitely not a word thrown around often to describe him. In fact no team that ever considered drafting Schaub thought of him as being an elite level quarterback.  Just looking at his draft scouting reports, here are what some people had to say about him.

James alder from about.com had positive things to say, “Matt Schaub has terrific size, strength, and a decent arm. He is an accurate passer (especially underneath) has a good release, and leads his receivers well. He has the ability to find the second receiver and he reads defenses well.” Alder, however also had this to say, “His footwork is inconsistent, but can be polished with good coaching. He lacks speed and mobility, and will not buy much time with his feet. He does not throw well on the run. Strictly a pocket passer.”

Sports Illustrated said, “Competitive signal-caller best in the short or intermediate passing game. Quickly sets up on the pocket, patient and buys time. Good field awareness, knows where his receivers are on the field and takes a hit in order to get the pass off. Zips the ball into the seam, accurate on the crossing patterns and puts touch on throws when necessary.” But SI also said he, “Cannot escape the rush or make throws on the move. Lacks the pinpoint pass placement and loses accuracy the further out to the flanks he is asked to throw the ball. Lacks a big league arm and not accurate with the deep pass.”

So are people unfairly judging him based on who he actually is or who they think he should be?

According to draft reports, Schaub was considered to be a career back up, but remember that relying heavily on the passing game has never been a part of Gary Kubiak’s game plan. Kubiak is a coach that miraculously won two Super Bowls with an over the hill John Elway. What is also eye opening is when you look at his first Super Bowl victory with the Broncos, Elway only passed for 123 yards that game.  This is not Trent Dilfer here. This is talking about one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game.

                                   Matt Schaub                                          John Elway

Total yards                        14424                                               13739

TD                                        77                                                     101

INT                                       46                                                      49

AVG/Gm                               262                                                   228

Passer Rating                      92.625                                            89.025

Comp %                              66%                                                 59%

When comparing Schaub and Elway in their first four seasons of working with Kubiak, you will notice that Schaub has beaten Elway in nearly every major statistical category for quarterbacks except touchdowns and interceptions. He has thrown for more yards, completed passes at a higher percentage and has had a better passer rating overall. In fact Schaub over his career has thrown for over 4000 yards three times, while Elway had only done it once. Not to mention the most touchdowns Elway had thrown in a season was 27, while Schuab had 29 in 2009. 

Also keep in mind that Denver, as talented as Elway and his teams were, did not win its first Super Bowl until the ripe old age of 37. Schaub, at 32, still has some time to right the ship. Now understand stats do not always tell the whole story of a player’s total impact on the game or how clutch one truly is, but in terms of comparing a player’s production to one of the of the greatest to ever play, it is a good measuring stick.

According to the numbers, Matt Schaub has been a better quarterback than John Elway. That might be hard to actually swallow for Texans fans right now.


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Luka Barnes

Luka Barnes is a Los Angeles native and fellow sports enthusiast who writes for the Washington Times Communities as an NFL and NBA contributor. He is also an avid follower of Collegiate and High School athletics.

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