Texans Go As Schaub Goes

Matt Schaub (Getty Images)

Because the Texans have been unable to get their running game untracked enough to make it a bigger part of the offense, the team is having to rely on quarterback Matt Schaub to move the ball.

Since the opening loss to the Jets -- a game in which Schaub was limited because of an ankle injury suffered in preseason -- Schaub has been outstanding, for the most part.

Schaub is on a pace for 4,832 yards, 37 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He has to stay healthy, of course, but if the running game becomes consistently productive, Schaub won't throw as much as he has so far.

"His numbers are exceptional," coach Gary Kubiak said. "We've been throwing it probably more than we have in the past, so his numbers are up, but he's just playing better. His biggest games have been on the road, so that tells you the way he's grown up.

"He's got great command of what we're doing. You look at how he handles the team in pressure situations -- it's easy for him. He's got a lot of confidence. (Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan) has done a great job with him.

"The more games you start, the better you're going to get, and he's showing signs of reaching a new level. The key is for his team to win and for him to get better at protecting the ball."

Schaub leads the league with 14 touchdown passes. His 1,810 yards are second.

Dating back to December of last year, Schaub leads the NFL with an average of 309.1 yards a game. He has 19 touchdowns, seven interceptions and a 99.7 passer rating.

"He's definitely more confident," tight end Owen Daniels said. "He's calm in the huddle. Sometimes, he'll have this smirk, like he's confident that something's going to work.

"He keeps us on our toes, keeps us motivated. He seems to know just what to say and the time to say it. He demands the best out of us when the bullets are flying, and we don't want to let him down."

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