The Houston Texans should have little trouble extending their undefeated record to 5-0 on Monday Night Football. While the Texans have several key advantages over the New York Jets, the biggest one is under center with Matt Schaub.
It doesn't matter if the Jets roll with Mark Sanchez or Tim Tebow, the team's passing game is going to struggle to have any sustained success against the dominant Texans defense. Neither Jets quarterback has proven he can move the chains consistently.
On the flip side, Schaub is exactly the type of quarterback the Jets could use. Somebody who limits mistakes, can make a big play down the field when necessary and fulfills his role on the team to perfection without any drama.
The former third-round pick is completing 67 percent of his passes for just under 240 yards per game and has thrown seven touchdown passes and only one interception through four games.
In a different offense, his numbers could be more gaudy. But he understands the running game and defense are the keys to success and isn't going to disrupt the rhythm the team has built up over the season's first month.
The Jets wish they had that type of quarterback to lean on rather than a developing controversy at the position. The Tebow chants will be louder than ever if Sanchez gets off to a slow start on the national stage.
That's a likely scenario given how well the Texans defense has been playing. It ranks third in passing yards given up and has just as many interceptions as touchdown passes allowed. The numbers are right in line with the San Francisco 49ers, who shut down Sanchez last week.
Add in the fact that top receiver Santonio Holmes is out for the season with a foot injury, and it sets up to become a long night for Sanchez, who still has Tebow lurking over his shoulder even though the Jets haven't shown confidence in him as a passer so far.
So even though Arian Foster and the Texans defense are probably going to hog the spotlight throughout the night, don't forget to keep an eye on Schaub. He's really the glue that holds the entire team together, allowing it to reach an elite level.
The Jets don't have that, or anything close. Houston will ride that advantage to the victory, leaving Rex Ryan and Co. wondering what they should do next.