The first time this season that the Baltimore Ravens beat the Houston Texans 29-14, they faced QB Matt Schaub, although All-Pro WR Andre Johnson missed the game due to injury. This time the two teams will meet in the playoffs, but without Schaub and now with both third-string QB T.J. Yates and Johnson. Will the combination of Yates with Johnson be able to do what Schaub could not?
Let's take a look at the regular season stats between the two Texans QB's, with the understanding that while Matt started ten games while TJ only started six.
One of the biggest debates is the difference in the two QB's styles. While Schaub is more of a pocket passer than Yates, TJ is more mobile, but perhaps takes off running rather than remaining patient in the pocket looking for the open receiver. However, the biggest difference between the two is the willingness and ability to throw the longer passes. Schaub was by far the more efficient passer in the range of not only throwing the deep ball, but the mid-range ones as well.
Matt Schaub threw 33 passes over 20 yards, completing 11 of them fo 432 yards and five TD's. In comparison, T.J. Yates is just one of ten in attempts over 20 yards, with the one completion being for 50 yards. In fact, Yates is only 19 of 42 in passes of 11 yards or longer, while Schaub was 47 of 84 at the same distance. This shows a great penchant for throwing the long ball proportionately based on average attempts per game played as well as completion rate.
In addition to Schaub's obvious greater proficiency with the longer passes, he had seven TD passes of over 11 yards, while Yates had none in the regular season. All three of TJ's three TD passes were under ten yards, further proving the TV commentators who refer to Yates as a "dink-and-dunk" type of QB.
Looking at the two QB's inside the opponent's Red Zone, Schaub is clearly the more dangerous passer, with 28 completions in 69 attempts for 152 yards and a QB Rating of around 65. While his completion percentage is only around 40% in this tougher area to be proficient, it is still significantly ahead of Yates' rate.
In comparison, Yates is only 8 of 24 (33%) inside the Red Zone for a grand total of 40 yards and a QB Rating of around 50.
In their week six regular season match-up with the Ravens, Texans QB Schaub threw for 220 yards on 21 completions in 37 attempts, one TD and no picks. His QB Rating for the game was 83.2. In order for Houston to compete and hope to have any chance of upsetting the Ravens, Yates is going to have to match or even exceed Schaub's stats, which to this point in his short NFL, just haven't happened.