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HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – It started last December. The Texans backed into the playoffs losing three of their final four games. They missed out on the AFC’s top overall seed and blew the chance to host a second-round playoff matchup at Reliant Stadium. Matt Schaub was on blast, questions swirling about the 31-year-old’s ability to lead a deep playoff run.
Take your DVR and fast-forward right through a playoff win over Cincinnati, a 41-28 drubbing at the hands of the Patriots, and OTAs. Many questions still remain. But before boarding the “Get Rid of Matt Schaub” boat, some perspective is needed.
In the hypothetical-ridden world that is the NFL offseason, he’s been ranked 23rd among NFL QBs, told he isn’t a franchise quarterback, and posted one of the worst Pro Bowl performances of all time. Schaub didn’t finish the 2012 season on his best foot. In three of his final four regular season starts, he posted a passer rating under 75. Remove those 3 games and his rating was an above average 95.2. Schaub threw for 4,008 yards in 2012. That’s more than so-called ‘franchise quarterbacks’ Ben Roethlisberger, Jay Cutler, Philip Rivers, RG III and the Super Bowl-winning Joe Flacco. Schaub’s 64% completion percentage was even higher than a couple of decent passers, Tom Brady and Drew Brees. And for those interested in more comprehensive stats, the Texans starting quarterback ranked 9th in the NFL in passer rating. The fact is, things went bad for Schaub at the worst possible time.
Heading into Week 14 the Texans were 11-1 and in position to seize the top seed in the AFC. Then Schaub faltered. A bad four-game stretch plus a playoff loss garnered him plenty of fair criticism. Unlucky for Schaub, the defense faltered simultaneously during that same four-game stretch only magnifying his failures. Before the slide started, the Bulls On Parade was giving up 18.4 points per game. After Week 13 Wade Phillips’ crew surrendered 27.5 per game.
The point is not that Matt Schaub should be appointed king of Houston. In fact, he needs to prove he can bounce back from a poor 2012 finish. But don’t forget where the state of the quarterback position was before him.
David Carr… Oh David Carr.
Carr threw for 3,000 yards just once in his five years with the Texans. Schaub has eclipsed 4,000 yards in three of his six seasons at the helm. And who can forget the Rosencopter game in 2008? While Schaub was still developing into a starter, the Texans were locked in a QB controversy. Those days are over.
Criticizing a starter who has not won a Super Bowl is normal, often healthy. A great fan base is not complacent. Fans want a franchise quarterback. If you think Schaub isn’t that guy, go right ahead. Use your right to criticize. Just remember the depths from which he brought this ‘franchise.’
Follow Will Grubb on twitter: @WillGrubbRadio