Ideally, after a brutal loss such as this, I would be able to calmly discuss with other Texans fans the play of our team, how we would be affected moving on in the season, and, yes, how awful it is to have another last-minute loss crammed down our throats. However, since it appears that the Shit-Chucking Ape Association of the Greater Houston Area (SCAAGHA) has been let loose upon the message boards of the good internet, I will be calmly discussing nothing. Instead, less than three hours after the game-clinching interception was thrown, I am defending my damn quarterback.
I know many of you don't bother going near the Comical anymore, but there was this article posted there. Go ahead and read it. It doesn't seem quite right, but the numbers aren't going to evaporate because they don't fit in with your ideas of how good our quarterback is. Schaub has, for almost his entire time in Houston, done just as well if not better than every other quarterback in the last few minutes of the game. Have any of you brainless individuals ever stopped to consider that you wouldn't even be able to complain over such heart-stopping close finishes if it weren't for Schaub desperately putting the team in position to win or tie in the first place?
And also, who in the hell are you comparing Schaub to while you're complaining? Do you honestly think there exists a quarterback that can win the game anytime, every time? Take a so-called "clutch" quarterback, like say Ben Roethlisberger, who had a game-winning 4th quarter drive in a super bowl. Last week he had a chance to drive the ball down the field to tie the game, didn't he? Should've been easy for an elite, non-Schaub guy like Big Ben, right? Well, even with a gift penalty, he ended up just lofting an easy interception, seemingly more because he wanted the game to end rather than because he was trying to make a big play. "Bu-bu-but he was hurt!" cry the Schaub haters and Steelers fans. "He was getting hit all day, and Watt touched his leg! How could he do anything else but throw the game away with a bit of time left on the clock!" Schaub, as you might recall, was in a similar situation today. He was getting hit, and he got a lower leg penalty hit as well. But, instead of losing the game at midfield, he scrambled, threw an unbelievable pass to Joel Dreessen, and somehow got the Texans to the goal line for a chance to score with a few seconds left. Remember also that on the previous drive Schaub had gotten the Texans 80 yards down the field only to have VIckers drop the ball, get sacked, and eventually settle for a field goal.
I've seen what other quarterbacks do when put in these situations. I've seen Jason Campbell and Matt Hasselbeck stumble about before throwing long, arcing interceptions to end potential game-winning drives nowhere near the end zone. People like to call Matt Schaub second-tier, but the true second-tier is hardly comparable.
The morons out there are going to have to realize that they are comparing Schaub to an ideal that doesn't exist. Aaron Rodgers, arguably the best quarterback in the league, is usually not put in the positions that foster such harsh judgments of Schaub; the Packers rarely played without the lead in last season's playoffs, and indeed in most of their wins. Tom Brady, when not throwing 4 picks vs. Buffalo or choking against the 2009 Texans, is hailed for his brilliant 4th quarter play in various playoff games, which usually consisted of setting up game-winning field goals, a task infinitely easier than scoring last-minute touchdowns.
Meanwhile Schaub is responsible for more desperate comeback attempts than perhaps any other quarterback. Trying to remember all or most of them is exhausting. Suffice it to say that if there was a statistic for ridiculous 4th quarter comeback attempts, the Texans would be league leaders by a mile. Anyways, all this talk about quarterbacks in the last-minute play is rather annoying as well; it's as though the rest of the offense leaks out of the conversation when the topic is discussed. I know he's the most important player out there, but not all of the blame and responsibility can be deposited on Schaub's shoulders every single time.
Ah, hell. I wanted this to be a coherent post detailing just how tough the Raiders were and how much Andre, Mario, and Thor being MIA contributed to the loss, but who cares. I'd rather have Matt Schaub as my quarterback than any other. That's all.