We're halfway through July and we've had list after list thrown into our faces like so much stale confetti. Here's one more to sift through.
ESPN analyst and former Philadelphia Eagles QB Ron Jaworski is ranking the probable starters for each NFL team, and he's placed our own Matt Schaub at number nine. As in, Jaws says there are only eight (8) QBs he thinks are better than Schaub right now. Here's his reasoning:
Jaworski ranks Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub at No. 9.
"The ninth quarterback in my rankings is Matt Schaub. Some may disagree, but as I’ve said before, my normal inclination is to look at a large body of work over a long period of time. And it’s difficult to argue with Schaub’s success in Houston.
"The combination of Schaub and head coach Gary Kubiak has always been a strong one. Kubiak believes in the running game as the offensive foundation, with the passing game most effective off play-action. Schaub is at his best with that approach — always has been — and has produced consistent success over a long period of time.
"It was again the case in 2012. Schaub’s 110 quarterback rating off play-action was among the league’s best. There may be no better play-action team in the NFL than the Texans. This touchdown against Denver was a great example. Look at this defensive end. The Texans felt so strongly about their zone run-action, they did not even block him. They believed the offensive line’s movement and the backfield action would take care of him. You don’t see that very often in the NFL.
"I like Schaub, maybe more than others. Did he struggle at times down the stretch? He did. But overall, he’s a very solid quarterback who’s shown the consistent ability to execute a well-structured and efficient offense. That puts him in my top 10."
Source: ESPN Media Zone
It's easy to see Jaws' justification for the ranking; Schaub has certainly produced consistently throughout his career when healthy. Ranking Schaub above mercurial quarterbacks like Matthew Stafford, Jay Cutler and Tony Romo fits his criteria of long-term sustained success. If they progress, I imagine Russell Wilson, Robert Griffin III, and Andrew Luck will strong-arm their way into the top 10 with one more season under their belt, leaving Schaub in the 11th or 12th spot in 2014.
Still, it's hard for Texans fans to stomach Schaub as a top 10 quarterback heading into 2013. The bad taste of the regular season finish lingers like stale garlic and cigarette ash. The stats are nice, the play-action QBR is nice, but Schaub has to put it all together for a full season (including the playoffs) or it's all for nothing.
The team is talented and deep at just about every position, but as we saw during the last leg of 2012, the team will go as Schaub goes.
Take a look at the full list, and leave your thoughts on Schaub or any other QB's ranking in the comments below. Happy Tuesday.