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Looking back at the Matt Schaub era

Posted Mar 21, 2014

For the first time since 2006, the Texans will begin a season without quarterback Matt Schaub under center.

After seven seasons as a Houston Texan, Matt Schaub has been traded. The quarterback who holds every significant passing record in franchise history is now an Oakland Raider.

The team signed veteran free agent Ryan Fitzpatrick on Thursday. Case Keenum and T.J. Yates are the other two quarterbacks on the roster.

When looking back on Schaub's body of work as a Texan, it's important to not just view it through the narrow prism of what happened on the field in 2013. His success from 2007 to 2012 under center, as well as the very impactful generosity in the community can't be overlooked.

In March of 2011, Schaub and his wife Laurie started the Gr8 Hope Foundation, a charity that's benefitted Texas Children's Hospital to the tune of over $1 million dollars in less than four years.

According to the foundation's website, the charity has "opened a Gr8 Hope 'No white coat zone Playroom', supported the Child Life Center projects, and most recently on November 25, 2013 the doors opened to the GR8 Hope Foundation Emergency Center expansion at the Texas Children’s West Campus."

Schaub came to town in a 2007 trade that saw Houston swap first round picks in that Draft with Atlanta. The Falcons also received second round picks in 2007 and 2008 from the Texans.

He started 11 games in his first season with the team, and the Texans went 4-7 in his starts. A shoulder injury and a concussion saw Sage Rosenfels get playing time.

2008 was better, as Schaub was 6-5 in 11 starts again. He missed a game due to illness, and four others because of a knee injury.

In each of his first two years as a Texan, the team finished 8-8.

Things got better in 2009, as Schaub led the NFL in passing yards with 4,770, and the Texans went 9-7 for the franchise's first winning record. In nine different games, he eclipsed the 300-yard passing mark, which was a tie for the second-most in a season in League history. He was named the MVP of the Pro Bowl following the season.

2010 saw Schaub throw for more than 4,300 yards, with 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, but the team finished 6-10.

The next autumn, Schaub and the Texans were rolling on the field, as he tossed 15 touchdowns in the season's first 10 starts. But a lisfranc injury in his right foot suffered during a Week 11 win at Tampa Bay ended his season, and he watched from the sidelines as Yates, a rookie fifth-rounder, guided the Texans into the playoffs.

A 12-win season, another 4,000-plus passing yards, a playoff victory and a second Pro Bowl performance were the highlights of 2012. But starting with a blowout loss to New England on December 10 of that year, and continuing through the end of the postseason, he and the Texans stumbled. They had a chance to lock up a first-round bye and homefield advantage through the playoffs, but were whipped by the Patriots, and dominated two weeks later by Minnesota.

A season-ending loss at Indianapolis was followed by Schaub's first playoff start and victory, a home game versus the Bengals. The Texans were down 17-13 at the half on the road at New England the week later, but fell by a 41-28 final.

Those six games to close out 2012, combined with 10 games in 2013 were forgettable for Schaub. In all, he threw 13 touchdowns, but was picked off 19 times in the span. In a four-game stretch, starting in Week 2 of last season, Schaub had an interception returned for a touchdown once per contest. He was replaced in the starting lineup by Case Keenum in Week 7, would start the season's final two games, and saw action in losses to Oakland and at Jacksonville.

The first pass he threw in 2013 was intercepted by Cam Thomas at San Diego. The final pass of the season, and Schaub's career as a Texan, was picked off by Michael Griffin at Tennessee.

Before Schaub got to Houston, the Texans were a combined 24-56 in five seasons. They lost 10 or more games in four of those years, and never reached the .500 mark.

With Schaub on the roster, the Texans were .500 or better in five of seven seasons, and reached the playoffs twice.

His 64% completion rate is the ninth-best mark in NFL history, and he threw for 300 yards or more in 27 different games. By comparison, Keenum and Yates have thrown for 300 yards or more in a game once apiece, and David Carr did it four times.

He wasn't able to get the Texans to a Super Bowl, but the team was better once he got here.

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