If you had walked up to Matt Schaub 10 years ago — while he was still warming Michael Vick’s seat in Atlanta — and told him that in a decade he would be a record-setting quarterback, a smile might have eclipsed his normally impassive face.
But smiles were absent on the Texans' sideline after the starting quarterback threw a pick-six on his first pass against San Francisco on Sunday night, immortalizing him as the only NFL quarterback with four pick-sixes in four consecutive games in league history.
As the coup against Schaub was assembled by the Houston fan base and media, head coach Gary Kubiak said in a press conference Monday that he will not give up on his quarterback yet.
“You watch the struggle and you just want to be a part of the solution,” Kubiak said. “You want to be a part of helping him work his way through that. The only way I know how to do that is to play your way through that stuff.”
Schaub has played his way through a lot in his seven-year career with the Texans, missing the franchise’s inaugural playoff game with a Lisfranc injury, then returning the next year and throwing a costly interception in a 41-28 loss to New England in the playoffs.
Some of Schaub’s best moments have come at the beginning of seasons. In 2012, Schaub put up 1162 yards, eight touchdowns and two interceptions through the first five games. In 2011, he put up 1377 yards, nine touchdowns and five interceptions.
Schaub has thrown for more interceptions this season than in both of those years combined.
His numbers are bad, but the competition has improved.
Only three teams from the Texans’ early slate of games in 2011 or 2012 made the playoffs. It is likely three from the current slate will make the postseason.
And before Texans tailgaters start throwing Schaub posters on the barbecue pyre, they should realize the replacements are not going to make any dramatic improvements:
- T.J. Yates and local favorite Case Keenum would be starting next week if Kubiak had any indication they would give the team a better chance at winning.
- The best free agents currently in the market are Matt Flynn, who has been beaten out for the starting job twice this season on two separate teams, and David Carr. Texans fans would love that.
- Any trade for a suitable quarterback would take away talent in other aspects of the team, leaving it shorthanded at other positions.
Kubiak is right.
The only immediate way out of the Schaublem is to let Schaub play his way out of it.
With a St. Louis defense that has given up 256 passing yards per game this season, and more importantly, forced three interceptions all year, Schaub might just get the therapeutic game he needs.