Matt Schaub Was Close, But Not Quite Norm Van Brocklin Numbers

In yesterday’s surprisingly entertaining game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans, Matt Schaub threw for more yards in a single game than any other quarterback in NFL history, except for two:  Warren Moon and Norm Van Brocklin.

Warren Moon threw for 527 yards (same as Schaub) against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in a 27-10 Oilers victory in 1990, and Norm Van Brocklin threw for 544 yards (still the NFL record) in a 54-14 Los Angeles Rams win over the New York Yanks (who later became the Baltimore Colts) in 1951.  Back in March, I wrote that a specific, special set of circumstances would have to happen for someone to have the opportunity to break the NFL record for most passing yards in a single game.  Let’s take a look at what those circumstances were.  (Everything in blockquotes was taken directly from the original post from March, which can be seen here)

  • The team going for the record has to be playing from behind.

With the exception of an early 7-0 lead and kicking a field goal on their first series of overtime, Houston was either behind or tied to the Jaguars the entire game.  There were only 17 minutes and 15 seconds where the Texans were not trailing or tied.  Also, keep in mind that the game lasted 72 minutes and 59 seconds.

  • The team that breaks the record will have a big advantage in time of possession.

The Texans led the time of possession battle 41:40 to 31:19.  Ten minutes of difference is huge.

  • The team going for the record will play badly on Defense and Special Teams.

Houston’s defense gave up 458 yards of offense to a team that was ranked 25th in passing offense and dead last in rushing offense.  They also allowed 354 yards passing and four touchdowns to a backup quarterback including touchdown passes of 81 and 67 yards.  That is the definition of playing badly.

  • The team breaking the record will have multiple turnovers (including failed 4th down conversions)

Houston’s offense turned the ball over three times, including two interceptions by Matt Schaub.  They did not attempt a 4th down conversion.
____

All of the elements were there for a potential record-breaking day, including almost thirteen minutes more of game time.  This game just goes to show how difficult it is to throw for that kind of yardage, and is a testament to how well any quarterback will have to play to break the record.

 

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