We’re in the depths of the offseason here at The Falcoholic, and there has been little to nothing in the way of interesting news in ages. So, we’ll have to make some content of our own in the meantime. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be bringing you a new Player Profile series where we’ll take a look at each of the players on Atlanta’s roster. I’ll break down their measurables, past production, and try to project their 2020 season with the Falcons.
After taking a look at the projected starters, we now turn our attention to the depth on the Falcons’ roster. Today, I’ll be discussing QB Matt Schaub—a seasoned veteran who has been Matt Ryan’s primary backup for the past three seasons.
QB Matt Schaub
Contract: $2.375M cap hit in 2020, free agent in 2021
Career Production: 154 games played, 93 games started | 2,148/3,348 (64.2% completion percentage) for 25,467 yards (7.6 YPA), 136 TD, 91 INT | 89.5 passer rating | 11 4th-quarter comebacks, 14 game-winning drives | 193 carries, 357 yards, 1.8 YPC, 4 TD
2019 Production: 6 games played, 1 game started | 50/67 (74.6% completion percentage) for 580 yards (8.7 YPA), 3 TD, 1 INT | 109.0 passer rating
Matt Schaub’s NFL career has truly come full circle after his recent run as the Falcons’ QB2. Originally drafted by the Falcons all the way back in 2004, Schaub served as a high-end backup for starting QB Mike Vick for the first three years of his career. He showed enough in that time for Atlanta to flip him for significant resources to the Houston Texans in the 2007 NFL Draft: the Falcons were able to trade up to 7 (from 10) and also net a 2nd-rounder and 2008 2nd-rounder. That was pretty tremendous compensation for a QB that only cost the Falcons a 3rd-rounder.
Schaub would then go on to have a tremendous run of success with the Texans, being named to the Pro Bowl twice and putting forth an elite performance in 2009 under Kyle Shanahan. Unfortunately, Schaub suffered injuries in both 2011 and 2013 that began to affect his play, and he was traded to the Raiders in 2014 for only a 6th-round pick. Schaub was a solid backup but never again regained a starting job, bouncing to the Ravens in 2015. He hit free agency in 2016, and Kyle Shanahan jumped at the chance to reunite with him in Atlanta.
That began the second stint for Schaub with the Falcons, where he he would play very sparingly as a reliable backup to Matt Ryan. He was finally called upon to start in relief of Ryan this past season, and put forth one of the best performances of his career: 39/52 (75%) for 460 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. Schaub nearly led the Falcons to victory over the Seahawks when the team had been playing like complete garbage. With Schaub now entering his age 39 season, it’s fair to wonder just how long he’ll remain in the league. His incredible play in 2019 probably bought him at least one more season in Atlanta—particularly with the truncated offseason and lack of preseason for developmental QB Kurt Benkert to show his growth.
Projection: Entering his age 39 season, Matt Schaub should be the favorite to retain the QB2 role heading into 2020. It’s fair to wonder when the team will decide to hand the reins over to Kurt Benkert (or, perhaps, another young QB), but with the pandemic limiting opportunities for others on the roster to prove themselves, Schaub offers reliability and experience that could be incredibly valuable in such an unprecedented season.