FOXBORO, Mass. — Matt Schaub may have thrown for 343 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday against the Patriots, but if you’re accepting those stats at face value, you likely weren’t watching the divisional round game.
Schaub struggled early against New England, which is part of the reason why the Patriots were able to jump out to a 31-13 lead before the Texans scurried to score some points in the fourth quarter. Despite Schaub’s up-and-down game, though, head coach Gary Kubiak is full of confidence in his quarterback.
“I think he’s one of the top quarterbacks in football. He’s had his team in great position for the last two years,” Kubiak said. “I believe in our quarterback wholeheartedly, and my point is that we are going to continue to push him to a new level as a player.”
Schaub will be 32 when the 2013 season starts, so there’s definitely a question of whether Schaub can get to that next level as Kubiak wants him to. But Schaub is just as confident in his talents as his head coach.
“There is no doubt that I belong [with the quarterbacks who won this weekend],” Schaub said. “I think I belong right up there with every one of them.”
Schaub won his first playoff game last week against the Bengals, but in 2011, the Texans were able to beat Cincinnati with T.J. Yates behind center.
Despite the fact that Schaub and Kubiak think the Texans’ quarterback is among the best in the league, the 31-year-old still thinks he can get better.
“No doubt. No doubt,” Schaub said. “Each and every game, each and every year, you find things that you can get better at individually that make yourself better, make your team better, make you more efficient.”
There’s a debate to be had about whether teams should just accept adequate play from their quarterbacks. Schaub made the Pro Bowl this season, but much of the team’s struggles down the stretch could be placed on his shoulders. It’s possible he was still recovering this season from the lisfranc injury that knocked him out in 2011, but if anything, it looks like he has been regressing as his career has gone along.
Kubiak is confident in Schaub, so that means the Texans will have at least one more season with their current starter at the helm. Schaub signed a five-year extension in September, but only 2012 and 2013 are guaranteed. It may be wise for the Texans to at least draft a quarterback in April to challenge Schaub for the future.