NFL Playoffs: Statistical Predictions for Tom Brady and Matt Schaub
Outside of Joe Flacco going up against Peyton Manning, this has to be the most lopsided quarterback matchup of the weekend. Heck, it compares extremely favorably (depending on whom you ask) to the other AFC game.
Tom Brady at home in January against a quarterback that has made one career postseason start. Okay, someone tell Matt Schaub it is time to put his big boy pants on because this could get ugly relatively quickly. Then again, Schaub might want to keep his training diapers on because we don't need an accident on the field at some point in the game.
With that in mind, and now that you have a sorted visual, let's take a gander at what each quarterback offers heading into Sunday's showdown between the Houston Texans and New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
Matt Schaub, Houston Texans
Schaub started out the season extremely good, throwing 18 touchdowns compared to eight interceptions and racking up six games with at least a 100 quarterback rating. One of the best statistical performances of his entire career came against the Jacksonville Jaguars back in mid-November. He threw for 527 yards (second-most in NFL history) and five touchdowns in an overtime win. Since that game, however, Schaub has tallied just four touchdowns in seven games, postseason included.
He will also be going up against a Patriots secondary that has been vastly improved recently since Aqib Talib and Alfonzo Dennard started getting more playing time and Devin McCourty switched to safety. In short, this isn't the Jaguars in November.
Not only did Schaub fail to compete with Brady at New England back in Week 14, he was downright horrible. He completed just 19-of-32 passes for 232 yards and an interception. Needless to say, that performance won't cut it Sunday in the playoffs.
Schaub struggled in his final six road starts of the regular season. He threw just five touchdowns compared to seven interceptions for a quarterback rating of 72.5. This will be only Schaub's second start at New England in his career, the first coming during the regular year.
Regular Season Average: 22/34, 251 yards, 1.4 touchdowns and 0.8 interceptions.
Regular Season Average (Away): 21/34, 227 yards, 1.1 touchdowns and 1.0 interceptions.
Statistical Projection: 23/38, 250 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Tom Brady, New England Patriots
We already know how Brady and the Patriots have performed at home in December and January. That has been talked about around the football world for a while now.
Brady has, however, struggled as of late. Starting with New England's loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 15, it hasn't really clicked in the passing game. The future Hall of Fame quarterback has tallied just five touchdowns compared to four interceptions in his last three games. Those really aren't Brady-like numbers.
He did put up nearly 300 yards in a four-touchdown performance against Houston at home in mid-November. Overall, Brady has put up eight touchdowns compared to three interceptions and a 96.2 quarterback rating in four career games against Houston.
Brady has thrown 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions at home in the playoffs throughout his career. As it relates to the regular season, that's really isn't up to par. Brady has a 3.5-1 TD/INT ratio at home during the regular year in his career. Of course the level of talent as it relates to opposing defenses isn't nowhere near as good in the regular season as it is in the playoffs.
Houston ranked in the middle of the pack (17th) against the pass during the regular season and gave up two times more touchdowns than it had interceptions. The Texans' defense intercepted only seven pass on the road during the regular season, all coming from Mark Sanchez, Jay Cutler and Jake Locker.
Regular Season Average: 25/40, 302 yards, 2.1 touchdowns and 0.5 interceptions.
Regular Season Average (Home): 25/39, 299 yards, 2.0 touchdowns and 0.4 interceptions.
Statistical Projections: 26/38, 310 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions.