Getting older is a weird feeling. Yeah, I’m just 24 years old, but I think the ticks of the mortal clock are starting to register in my mind. I’m watching my family grow, my nephews begin to take shape, and my parents start to age. Time is more precious than it ever has been.
Aside from the existential stuff, there’s another age thing that I'm noticing. Some of the heroes that I watched from my football awakening are starting to grow old and ride off into the sunset. Guys like Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger are getting long in the tooth and staring down the barrel of their last football days. This isn’t my first brush with my initial Texans idols moving on from football. Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, Brian Cushing, and Chris Myers (what we’d do to have him back in his prime, huh?) have all walked way from the game. However, the man who orchestrated the offense that got me interested in football has now taken the big dive.
Falcons’ owner Arthur Blank said veteran QB Matt Schaub is retiring.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 4, 2021
Matthew Rutledge Schaub has a weird place in my heart. I walked into this franchise in 2010, in the midst of a 6-10 campaign. Schaub was wheeling and dealing. That year, he ended up as a top five quarterback in passing yards. Heck, Houston’s offense was a top ten unit overall thanks to an incredible breakout season for Arian Foster. Unfortunately, all of that was mitigated by the fact that Frank Bush was employed by the team as its defensive coordinator. As such, the Texans dealt with some tough losses. Losses like this:
According to the hole in my drywall, I’m still not fully over that second one.
I was spoiled by getting to walk into Texans fandom with Matt Schaub as my quarterback. I didn’t have to sit around and watch David Carr get pounded like a tender steak. The horror of the Rosencopter is a history lesson as opposed to a memory. I do remember what came after Schaub, though. Case Keenum. Ryan Fitzpatrick. Bryan Hoyer. Ryan Mallett. Tom Savage. [NAME REDACTED]. It’s because of that I look back so fondly on my time with Schaub, even if things didn’t end how we would have liked.
In honor of the second-greatest QB in Texans history, let’s take a trip down memory lane and revisit some Schaub moments. Maybe we’ll even learn how to love again.
We begin with a revenge job for the 2010 Hail Mary fiasco. The Texans and Jaguars were locked in an absolute barn-burner of a game. After throwing for 527 yards and 4 touchdowns in regulation, Schaub got a gift from Andre Johnson and a block from Duane Brown to win the game.
Now, the meat and potatoes begin. All the way back in 2007, it’s Week One and the Texans are taking on the Kansas City Chiefs. Halfway through the second quarter, Gary Kubiak gives us a taste of what we’d come to know as a staple of his offense. Deep play-action NUKES.
Schaub gets about 40 yards of airtime under that throw and Andre beats single coverage for a 77-yard touchdown pass. The Texans would go on to win that game and finish the year 8-8.
Our next stop brings us to 2013 against the BESFs in Week 2. Schaub & Co. are rolling down the field when DeAndre Hopkins, a rookie, decides to enter the chat. Schaub puts the ball in a sketchy spot but Nuk wrangles it in to give us a prime red zone opportunity.
What follows is beautiful and glorious. Schaub throws a perfect back shoulder fade and Hopkins makes one hell of a catch to put the game away in overtime.
Finally, a conversation about Matt Schaub wouldn’t be complete without revising the end of his tenure in Houston. Many a fan remembers the terrible Lisfranc injury that derailed a very promising season in 2011, but what most people seem to keep attached to Schaub is the pick-six streak that he went on to effectively end his career in Houston in 2013. Over the course of a four game period, Schaub managed to throw four (4) pick-sixes. They were.... well, take a look.
The decline was sharp and STEEP. Schaub forgot how to read and everything was getting jumped. The aftermath was full of vitriol from fans and analysts alike, with even some going as far as showing up to his house. Schaub left town via a trade to the Raiders and bounced around between Oakland and Baltimore before finally returning home to Atlanta to take the Alex Moran route.
Regardless of how it ended, we should appreciate Schaub for the good times that we had. There are things much worse than above average to really good quarterback play, and that’s largely what we had with Matt Schaub during his time in Houston. I’ll leave you with one more highlight from a recent Falcons game.
Matt Schuab greasing Jadeveon Clowney's wheels and forcing him to drive off a cliff after spinning out wide on the boot was the high point of his Atlanta football career pic.twitter.com/7UHiz9b2Pf— Matt Weston (@Matt__Weston) January 5, 2021
Matt Schaub bootlegs forever. Matt Schaub forever.