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Matt Schaub Wants to Finish Stronger

I can still remember the crowd screaming. October 12, 2008. Week 6.  Dolphins at Houston. Texans are 0-4. Texans down 28-22 with 3 seconds left on the clock and with the game coming to a fast conclusion after Andre made the grab of the century…Matt Schaub hikes the ball on the 3…He takes off with it! TOUCHDOWN!!! Brown kicks and the Texans win 29-28!!!  That was 2008…

Attributing several games in 2009 where he and the Texans failed to finish in the fourth quarter, Matt Schaub told the press that he needs to finish better in games. However, it was not always Schaub who lost the games in the fourth; in fact, he had a career year last year putting up the most pass attempts and passing yards in the league with also the fifth most passing touchdowns and second most first downs.  So here’s an analysis of the Texans’ close losses in 2009 and Schaub’s part in them:

  1. At home versus Jacksonville in Week 3, it was Texans RB Chris Brown who fumbled on the one-yard line and failed to score a touchdown who was to blame for the loss turnover that led to the 31-27 loss. Schuab put up 300 yards, 3 touchdowns and one interception in the game.
  2. At Arizona in Week 5, the Texans were dealt a loss due to their dismal start on offense and special teams, but both sides did put up momentous numbers in the fourth. Schaub for 371, two touchdowns and one interception. The interception by Cardinal CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie with 2:26 left in the game was returned for a touchdown to seal the game putting Arizona on top for the 28-21 win.
  3. At Lucas Oil Stadium against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 9, it was Kris Brown who left the Texans in disappointment, missing a 42-yard field goal attempt to tie the game for a possible overtime duel. The Texans lost 17-20.
  4. At the Titans in Week 11, the Texans did all they could to beat the Titans but they came up short losing 20-17.  Titans RB Chris Johnson put up 151-yards rushing, and hometown Titans’ QB Vince Young showed his Houston spirit.  Schaub had 305 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and 16 first downs passing, but the Texans only had 1 first down rushing.  Here, the defense failed to stop the speedy and shifty Titans, and Texans K Kris Brown’s failed 49-yard kick attempt to send the game to overtime couldn’t match Titans K Rob Bironas’ 53-yard minutes that occurred minutes earlier.
  5. In Week 12 at home versus the Colts, the Texans’ spectacular first half died with penalties and a stuttering offense.  I sat on the fifty-yard line watching the Texans go from adreniline pumped offensive powerhouses to surprised, antsy and almost-sugar-rushed lazy pinheads after quickly going up 14-0 in the first half.  Schaub’s first incompletion didn’t come till the second half, but he and the Texans didn’t put together a good fourth quarter.  The Texans had one touchdown in the fourth compared to the Colts’ offensive, special teams and defensive-interception touchdowns.  Schaub threw for 282 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
  6. Week 12 at Jacksonville, Schaub managed 207 yards with one touchdown and one interception.  The game was a rough and exciting one, including a fourth down goal line stop of  Jags RB Maurice Jones-Drew, Schaub dislocating his shoulder and returning later in the second half, a Zach Diles tackle on Garrard for a Jax safety, and the late one-yard touchdown to Andre Johnson in the fourth with four minutes left on the clock.   Schaub’s interception came off a David Anderson drop caused by being immediately hit upon touching the ball; something Schaub still has to work on: getting balls to receivers who will not end up on the injured reserve if they catch it.

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