bill-swift - September 25, 2012
In the last six seasons Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub has made a name as one of the most prolific passers in the NFL. This season he's 31. He has a history of injuries; something that will not get easier to recover from as he continues to age. His top wide receiver is no spring chicken and just as injury prone (Andre Johnson, 31). He has one of the best running backs in the NFL in Arian Foster and the second best defense.
If he doesn't do it--get to the Super Bowl--this season, he may not get another chance. Three games into the '12 season it appears like he is not going to let anything like losing part of an ear stand in his way.
Houston was one of three teams that odds makers gave a 7 to 1 chance of making it to the Super Bowl in New Orleans this season. After wins against the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars Vegas gave Houston the second best odds to make it to the big game (9 to 2).
While the team did play well in both games, the competition was not exactly stiff. Neither the Dolphins or Jaguars have been given a remote shot at making the Super Bowl let alone the playoffs. However, week three's opponent, the Denver Broncos provided the team and Schaub with a pretty stiff challenge.
When people think of the Broncos this season they think of Peyton Manning, but Denver also has one of the better defenses in the league (No. 12). Elvis Dumervill and Von Miller are one of the deadliest pairs of pass rushers, and Champ Bailey is still one of the best cover corners out there.
They definitely posed the first challenge of the season for Schaub and the Texans, one in which both responded admirably. Arian Foster kept the Broncos from keying on the pass with 105 yards on the ground in 25 carries, but it was the accurate, strong arm of Matt Schaub that won the day with 290 yards, four touchdowns, and 1 interception while completing 17 of 30 passes.
While the offense still has some kinks to workout, Schaub has been resilient and rebounded from mistakes. After starting the game off being sacked on the first drive for a safety, he threw a 60-yard touchdown bomb to Andre Johnson to take the lead. Two drives later he tossed a 52-yard bomb to Kevin Walter to put Houston up 21-6.
The defining moment of the game came during the third quarter. Denver linebacker Joe Mays delivered a hard blow to Schaub (that will likely result in a fine) that sent the QB tumbling and had him holding his head. Fearing a concussion, medical personnel rushed out to check on him. As it turns out he was holding his head because part of his ear had been ripped off.
That's right; he lost part of his ear. His response was pretty simple:
"I felt fine," Schaub said, via the Houston Chronicle. "Lost a piece of my ear."
He left for just one play--after losing part of his ear! Not to be deterred, he went onto to lead the team to 10-second half points en route to 31-25 win and the team's first 3-0 start in franchise history.
Yeah, I think it is safe to say this guy means business.