Long time NFL quarterback and 2-time Atlanta Falcon Matt Schaub is retiring according to team owner Arthur Blank at the team’s post-season press conference, closing the final chapter on what turned out to be an extensive NFL career.
Schaub was drafted by the Falcons in the third round of the 2004 draft and spent much of his first stint in Atlanta as the backup to Michael Vick. His most famous moment as a Falcon came in 2005 when he nearly out-dueled Tom Brady and the Patriots to the tune of 298 passing yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 112.1 in a narrow 31-28 defeat.
Had the former University of Virginia standout not been traded to the Houston Texans before the 2007 NFL Draft he would have been Atlanta’s starter that season, as the scandal which took Vick away from the team happened a few months later. Who knows how the trajectory of the Atlanta Falcons would have changed had that trade not happened.
Instead, Schaub spent seven successful seasons under center for the Texans while the Falcons drafted Matt Ryan one year later.
Schaub started 88 games for Houston, during which he set the all time franchise records for passing yards, passing touchdowns and quarterback wins. His overall record with the Texans was 46-42, and he is one of just three QBs to ever achieve double digit victories with that franchise.
Matt Schaub’s magnum opus season came in 2009, when he led the league in completions and passing yards, while also setting a career high in touchdown passes, passer rating and QBR. He was named to the Pro Bowl that season, and was also a Pro Bowl selection in 2012 when he led the Texans to a franchise best 12-4 record.
Schaub led the Texans to their first playoff appearance and division title in franchise history in 2011, and then helped the team repeat as division champions in 2012.
Of course, all good runs come to an end. Schaub’s career with the Texans quickly wound to a halt during a 2013 season during which he struggled. He found himself in Oakland and in Baltimore as a backup before returning to the Falcons as QB2 in what has become the last stop of his career.
Schaub spent the last four seasons as Matt Ryan’s backup, starting in one game — Week 8 against the Seahawks in 2019, where he threw for 460 passing yards and a touchdown.
As Matt Schaub’s career comes to a quiet end, he can say something only a handful of other men can lay claim to — that he spent 16 years in the NFL and finished as a franchise’s all time leader in the major passing categories.
Deshaun Watson will eventually surpass those marks in the coming years, but Matt Schaub has nonetheless written an emphatic chapter in Houston Texans history that can’t be ignored. As for Atlanta; well the book of Schaub’s career starts and ends with bookend chapters as a Falcon.