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Matt Schaub Is Intangibly Awesome But Lacks A Guardian Ninja

I think it's great that teh Schaub is getting more recognition.  I mean, the guy deserves it.  In my mind, there's no doubt that he was a significant upgrade over Zoolander from the moment he stepped on the field.  Do you know how I know?  Because in his first game as a Texans starter, he managed to find Andre Johnson for a 77-yard touchdown pass.  It was, at the time, the longest pass play of 'Dre's career.  I'm not sure if David Carr could even see 77 yards.  It sure didn't seem like it.

So you can imagine my frustration when, given that it was completely obvious that Schaub was going to be good, people somehow started coming up with the lamest ways of criticizing him.  Now, I will allow that there are some valid criticisms of teh Schaub.  Off the top of my head, I can think of two:  He has a tendency to throw completely unnecessary interceptions from time to time and he could be better at moving around in the pocket.  

But there are two other criticisms of teh Schaub that drive me completely, utterly insane.  The first one is the old cherry that he is injury-prone and, because he has missed time due to injuries, he is soft.  I find this amazing, considering that Schaub's injuries have all come from hits that resulted in fines.  Like it's a sign of weakness that Jared Allen throws himself into your knee after the play is over.  Right.

Fortunately, Matt Schaub put this criticism to rest last year when he played through the entire season and shrugged off some injuries in the process.  The Redskins put him on the turf five times last time out and hurried him a bunch more; Schaub's reaction was to channel his inner berserker and throw for a few yards short of 500.  What a wuss.

What could possibly infuriate me more than this criticism?  Skip with me across the jump to find out.

Even worse than the he-is-soft chestnut, however, is the idea that Schaub lacks intangibles.  Do me a favor, friends.  The next time you hear someone say that so-and-so lacks intangibles, take the palm of your hand and ram it into their nose.  They are stupid and need to be eliminated from the gene pool.*

First of all, let's talk about intangibles, shall we?  Intangibles are things that, by definition, can't be measured.  I hope you can all see the obvious problem with the charge that someone lacks intangibles.  If you can't measure them, how on earth do you know who has them and who doesn't?  In fact, how on earth do you know what they are in the first place?  You don't and you can't.

In fact, you can make up all kinds of shit that doesn't exist, call it an "intangible," and claim that someone has it.  A fifteen-foot tall rhesus monkey made of mind bullets can't be measured, so it's intangible.  How do we know teh Schaub doesn't have one of those following him around?  It sure looks to me like he might have one.  But that's nothing compared to Tom Brady.  That lucky bastard has a giant six-armed chainsaw-juggling ninja made out of thought energy from Proxima Centauri balancing on one foot on top of his head.  With intangibles like that, it's no wonder he's won 73 Super Bowls.

I think when people talk about intangibles, what they really mean are leadership, poise, clutchiness and the ability to emanate a god-like aura when everyone else around you is turning into jelly because mutant rabbits from the planet Visigoth are invading the team is in a tough position.  Well, that's great and all, but does that apply to Schaub?

Since we're talking about a concept that is complete bullshit anyway, I'm going to establish an argument that is arbitrary and easily defeated in order to prove my point.  Yes, I'm going to engage in one of my favorite pastimes, the destruction of a straw man.

First of all, I do believe that leadership exists.  And I suppose it is hypothetically possible that being clutch, as such, exists as well.  However, I don't think there is any adequate way that we can determine who has leadership and who doesn't, and we certainly can't come to any consensus on what is a clutch situation and what isn't.

But, since I'm in the process of creating my straw man, I'm going to try anyway.  Let's use what I like to call the "Elway Quotient," which is a term I just made up about two minutes ago.  The Elway Quotient is nothing more than the number of times a quarterback has led his team on a game-winning drive or fourth quarter comeback, divided by one, because if I remember math correctly, in order for something to be a quotient, it has to be divided by something.  

Anyway...according to Pro Football Reference Matt Schaub has, in his time in Houston, compiled a record of 21-19-0.  Additionally, according to the same site, Schaub has led his team on seven fourth-quarter comebacks and/or game-winning drives but the site hasn't been updated to include the Washington game, so his Elway Quotient is eight (don't forget to divide by one).  

And let's remember that not all game-winning drives are created equal.  For example, a quarterback could lead a team on a game-winning drive that scored the final points of the game in the third quarter and watch his defense shut the other team out for the rest of the game.  That's not the same as bringing a team back with no timeouts and 1:53 left on the clock.

With that in mind, let's take stock of some of teh Schaub's more memorable comebacks:

-at Green Bay, 2008.  Schaub throws for over 400 yards in the bone-chilling cold and brings his team downfield.  Kris Brown has yet to discover that he sucks and wins the game for us.

-Miami, 2008.  Schaub, with the assistance of 'Dre and KW, somehow temporarily alters the space time continuum and manages to score on a QB sneak with no timeouts left, probably saving his (and Kubiak's) Houston career.

-New England, 2009.  The Texans trail 27-13 in the fourth before Schaub solves the mystery of cold fusion while leading the Texans to 21 straight points and the W.

And, of course, last week in Washington.

Sounds good, right?  Well, there's more.  

This stat doesn't count drives where Schaub brought his team back, only to lose in overtime, and it doesn't take into account the "K/CHris Brown Effect," which is another name I made up for what happens when a factor completely out of Schaub's control causes his team to lose even though Schaub moved heaven and earth to put them in a position to go to overtime.  Want to take an unpleasant trip down memory lane, boys and girls?  Alright, hold your breath and let's get this over with.  

Since 2008, teh Schaub was victimized by the K/Chris Brown Effect in the following games: 

In 2008: at Jacksonville (Schaub leads his team on a game-tying drive with as time expires, only to lose the toss and the game in overtime)

In 2009: at Arizona (Chris Brown ftl)

at Indianapolis (Kris Brown this time around)

home to Tennessee (thanks again, Kris!)

Note that I'm not including the Chris Brown halfback pass game at Jacksonville.  But that's four more games where you could argue that Schaub was pretty clutch but was denied a chance at victory by either dumb luck or someone else's supposed lack of clutchiness.

All of which is to say that there are plenty of good ways to refute the insanely stupid argument that Matt Schaub somehow doesn't perform well in the clutch.  


*Don't actually do this.  Just note that they are unenlightened and feel sorry for them.  Or carry around a printed version of this article and show it to them.  Your call.