This is one of those games where choosing who the best player on the field for was for the Houston Texans in their thrilling comeback victory over San Diego is pretty difficult.
If Brian Cushing doesn’t make an incredibly athletic play that ended in a pick six, who knows if Houston even wins this one. If Andre Johnson isn’t a black hole when the ball is in the air, the team might not have even been close. But I have to give it to Matt Schaub, who has been maligned and beleaguered by Houston fans all summer.
For all of the gripes about Schaub, he didn’t help to calm those fires when his first play of the game was a tipped pass that ended up an interception and a 7-0 deficit just 15 seconds into the game.
That was the end of his poor plays for the evening.
After that fluke play, Schaub completed 34 of his next 44 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns, all while facing fierce pressure from a San Diego pass rush that completely handled the Texans offensive line all night.
The biggest knocks on Schaub have been that he can only win if behind a perfect situation. Well, it’s safe to say he debunked that one last night. Another criticism is that he isn’t mobile in the pocket, yet he shook off what looked to be for sure sacks numerous times. He’s never going to sprint up the middle for a gain of 20, but he really doesn’t need to in this offense to win.
Finally having a second receiving threat in DeAndre Hopkins really began to show the positives in the second half when Schaub hit him for a gain of 30 yards on a 3rd-and-13 play near the end of the third quarter. It kept the drive alive and ended up in a touchdown that pulled Houston within a single score.
It has always been said, and Trent Dilfer was quite adamant in stressing it last night, that Schaub doesn’t have it in him to put the team on his back and bring them back in a game they’re getting torched in.
No. 8 force-fed folks a big old slice of humble pie last night, and if fans are too stubborn to admit it, well you really need to ask yourself what more you want from a guy who just carried your team to the biggest comeback in franchise history.
For all of his shortcomings, Schaub was a monster on the field Monday night and into Tuesday morning. For at least this week, fans should give the devil his due; he’s earned it along with the game ball.