There's no question in the mind of any non-comatose Texans' fan that Matt Schaub's QB play has been significantly better than David Carr's QB play was. Unfortunately, many of Schaub's positive traits seem to be either of the intangible variety or easy to discern but difficult to translate to others, such that often we as Texans' fans are left simply explaining to others that, "All I know is that Schuab just has IT and Carr did not". What is that "IT"? I think KC Joyner over at ESPN Insider has quantified it and deserves a Nobel Prize, or at least an ESPY, for his fine work.
Note that a subscription is required to view Joyner's analysis in full, but here are some summary points that KC makes:
1. Joyner has broken down the depth of the passes thrown in Carr's first two games last season and Schaub's first two games this season and discovered the following:
- "Schaub has a higher yards-per-attempt average at both the short and medium depth levels. Carr has a higher YPA average at the deep and bomb levels, but Schaub has thrown twice as many of those passes and is threatening defenses vertically in a way Carr never did." Carr averaged about 6 YPA on his short attempts, while while Schaub averages 7.5, and Carr averaged 13 YPA on his medium attempts, while Schaub averages 16.6.
- We all know far to well how DC reacted under pressure - much like the French in the WWII Battle of France. According to Joyner, Schaub thrives under pressure, which is something that we at BRB have certainly observed and appreciated intensely, but KC broke it down by numbers for the benefit of all of us. Against the blitz, Schaub is 12-17 for 196 yards and 2 TD, while taking only two sacks. Joyner also submits that a QB who averages 9 yards per attempt against the blitz will typically lead the league. Schaub's YPA against the blitz thus far: 11.5.