Posts tagged with “matt schaub”

Matt Schaub Yardage Leader?

Saturday, 14 August, 2010

By Vidur Malik

With NFL passing games becoming more creative, and talent being so widespread around the league, passing statistics for quarterbacks are sky-high. Every year, it seems like at least a handful of quarterbacks eclipse the 4,000 yard passing mark, with the top-tier guys consistently reaching 4,400-4,500 yards. Last year, Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub led the league in passing with 4,770 yards, and guided the Texans to an 8-8 finish. That number was also good for sixth all-time for passing yards in a season. Only Drew Brees and Dan Marino have passed for over 5,000 yards in a season, but after Schaub’s prolific 2009 season, it’s worth wondering whether he can join Brees and Marino in the 5,000 yard club next year.

To get to the 4,000+ range, you’ve got to have an assortment of weapons who can all make significant contributions. There can be a number one guy, but every receiver needs to have a good amount of touches and yards to get their quarterback to the elite level. Schaub has more than enough targets to throw to, and in 2009, he made use of all of them. Wide receiver Andre Johnson is clearly the number one guy in Houston, and is widely considered the best receiver in the game. He’s recorded over 100 catches and 1,500 receiving yards the last two years, and judging by his recent big-money contract extension, he’ll be putting up those numbers for the Texans in a while. In addition to Johnson, Schaub’s got receivers Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter to throw to. Jones only caught 27 passes last year, but had a 16.2 yards per catch average, and scored six touchdowns. Walter caught 53 balls for 611 yards and two scores last year. Aside from the wide outs, tight end Owen Daniels is becoming one of the league’s best at his spot. Last year, Daniels tore his ACL and only played in eight games, but still recorded 519 yards and five touchdowns, which would be solid numbers for a whole season for most tight ends. If Daniels is fully healed from his injury this year, he could provide a serious boost in Schaub’s numbers.

The Texan running backs should provide the offense with a pretty good running game, and if they can become good receivers out of the backfield, they might be able to help Schaub get to even higher passing numbers. Steve Slaton, Ben Tate, and Arian Foster will all see time at running back. Of the three, Slaton is the only proven receiving threat, with 417 receiving yards and three scores in 11 games last year. If Foster and Tate can be good runners and double as receiving options, Schaub can really stretch defenses, and take advantage of favorable matchups all across the field.

Houston’s defense is pretty good, but not great, which means he Texans will probably get victories by outscoring their opponents. They were ranked 13th overall in total defense last year, and gave up 20.8 points per game. If they are a middle-of-the-pack defense again this year, the Texans will still be a competitive team because of their offense, which bodes well for Schaub from a statistical standpoint. He has to produce in order to win, so he’ll put up huge numbers by necessity.

Throwing for 5,000 yards in a season requires a dangerous and spread-out attack, in which any receiver can have a big day. It requires a quarterback to average over 300 passing yards a game, while going against defenses who have prepared all week to stop the passing game. Matt Schaub is surrounded by players who can consistently deliver, and he’s got the skill to get find them and get them the ball. Brees and Marino are the only ones that have done it so far, and they’re both Hall of Fame quarterbacks. Whether or not Schaub will join them in Canton remains to be seen, but in today’s NFL, if anyone can get to 5,000 yards in a season, it’s him.