Playing with Matt Schaub as your starting quarterback has become like playing with fire. Sooner or later, getting burned by a Schaub interception seems almost inevitable.
The same pick-six problems that haunted Schaub in Houston have traveled north to Baltimore. Two Schaub interceptions Sunday, including a pick-six by Miami defensive end Derrick Shelby, led to both Dolphins’ touchdowns as the Ravens dropped a 15-13 decision. For Schaub, it was his second pick-six in two starts with the Ravens, and the sixth pick-six he has thrown in his last nine starts.
Twitter can be cruel, and it exploded Sunday with one-liners about Schaub’s latest pick-six. But to Schaub and the Ravens, his turnovers are no laughing matter.
Already severely shorthanded due to injuries to key starters, the Ravens (4-8) simply aren’t good enough to overcome game-changing turnovers on a consistent basis. Schaub made some throws Sunday, and it should be remembered that he has played with an injury-depleted offense.
But his mistakes simply cannot be ignored. In Schaub’s Ravens debut, an interception he threw with 50 seconds to play against the Browns almost cost Baltimore a victory. Fortunately for him, Ravens defensive end Brent Urban blocked a potential game-winning field goal, and Ravens safety Will Hill retuned the block 64 yards for the game-winning touchdown.
On Sunday, nobody bailed out Schaub. Shelby made a superb play, tipping the ball to himself in athletic fashion. But it was not a good decision by Schaub, trying to pass the ball around an unblocked lineman. Schaub had just thrown an interception, a tipped pass Ravens’ previous possession, that led to the Dolphins’ first touchdown.
“He’d probably tell you that he’s better off not throwing that in that situation,” said Ravens coach John Harbaugh.
The Ravens will likely decide they are better off going with another backup quarterback next season. Right now, Schaub's only backup is recently signed Jimmy Clausen, so Schaub may finish the last four games as the starter. However, Schaub only has a one-year contract, and with the Ravens uncertain exactly when Joe Flacco will return from his season-ending knee surgery, they need a quarterback behind Flacco who can avoid big mistakes.
The Ravens’ defense played well enough to win Sunday. But not well enough to overcome Schaub’s turnovers.