The Houston Texans completed the largest comeback win in team history on Monday Night, rallying from a 28-7 third quarter deficit to stun the upset-minded San Diego Chargers 31-28 on a Randy Bullock field goal at the final gun. Bullock received the game ball for knocking through the game winner in his first-ever NFL game, but the Texans MVP on this night was Matt Schaub.
Schaub finished the night 34-of-45 for 346 yards and three touchdowns. He had a passer rating of 110.0 and besides the interception he threw on a deflected pass on the game’s very first play, played an exceptional game. Schaub spread the ball around, but in the red zone looked to the tight ends as all three of his scoring passes were caught by them. I wrote last week that the Texans tight ends were poised for a big season, and they got off to a good start Monday night as Owen Daniels caught two touchdowns and Garrett Graham received the other.
The Texans probably did not go into the game planning for Schaub to have 45 pass attempts. Then again, they didn’t plan to fall behind 28-7 in the third quarter either. Even when the Texans were on the short end of the scoreboard in the first half, Schaub was impressive in the way he was avoiding the Chargers pass rush and staying composed in the pocket. The offensive line did a better job of giving him time to throw in the second half, and he proceeded to lead the Houston comeback.
The most impressive aspect of Schaub’s outing was the throws he made on third down. He converted several clutch third-and-longs, the majority of them to Andre Johnson, which extended drives when Houston desperately needed the offense to make a play. When the Texans received the ball with the game tied at 28-all with under 3:00 remaining, there was little doubt that Schaub would get the job done.
That was opposite of the thoughts about the Texans during training camp and preseason. Nearly every media member who wrote a column previewing the Texans season noted that Houston had the look of a Super Bowl team, but the big question mark was at the quarterback spot. The noise was easy to hear, as the doubt about Schaub’s ability to win big games and take this team to the next level was heightened after the late season swoon of 2012.
The Chargers are not considered to be anywhere near an elite team, and this was only the first week of the season. Despite those facts, it was good to see Schaub play exceptional and lead the Texans comeback. Those remaining doubts about him won’t be clarified or dismissed until December or January, but this was an excellent start for the Texans quarterback who is very much under the microscope in 2013.