Matt Schaub's Up-And-Down Ravens Debut Ends In Thrilling Fashion


When quarterback Matt Schaub came up to John Harbaugh after Monday night's thrilling victory over the Cleveland Browns, the head coach didn't like the look from his quarterback.

The veteran signal caller was still clearly frustrated about the two interceptions he tossed earlier in the night.

"What he's going to think about are the two interceptions. That's just the way he is," Harbaugh said after the 33-27 victory. "He comes up to me and I can see the look on his face. And it's like, 'Dude, you won the game. You and us, we win together. We lose together. It's a team effort.' He's capable of playing winning football."

The 34-year-old veteran started his first game in two seasons, and he became the first quarterback in 2,892 days to start a game for the Ravens other than Joe Flacco.

Schaub finished 20-of-34 passing with 232 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, including a pick-six.

"It's been a while, but it felt good," Schaub said. "We had a good week of practice and meetings, and good preparation, and felt good out there. I was seeing things pretty clearly. I wasn't really surprised by too much. Of course, I want to have those two throws back. But I felt pretty good about how things went."

The day was truly an up-and-down affair for Schaub. He started the game hot and helped jumpstart the Ravens to a 17-3 second-quarter lead. He connected with rookie running back Buck Allen on a 13-yard touchdown pass, and also drove the Ravens down the field for a Justin Tucker field goal.

But then in the second half, the turnover bug reared its head as he threw a pick-six to linebacker Karlos Dansby early in the third quarter to give Cleveland the lead. The turnover continued a trend of pick-sixes that plagued Schaub in his final season with the Houston Texans in 2013.

"When something like that happens, it's the worst of the worst," Schaub said.

But he didn't let the turnover derail him or the offense.

On the ensuing drive, he marched the offense down the field on a 12-play, 80-yard drive that culminated in a perfectly played 15-yard touchdown strike to Kamar Aiken.

"To come back out and put a touchdown drive right behind that says a lot about our team and our offense," Schaub said. "We didn't blink. We just went back out and went to the next play. That's what this game is about. You're going to have good plays, you're going to have bad plays. How you respond to those things is what makes the difference."

Schaub again showed his leadership chops on Baltimore's next drive, which started on the Ravens' 1-yard line. He hit a third-down pass to tight end Crockett Gillmore to get the Ravens out of their own end zone, and the offense then marched for a 17-play drive that ended in a field goal and ate up more than eight minutes on the clock.

"That was pretty impressive," Harbaugh said.

The drives Schaub orchestrated had given the Ravens a touchdown lead in the fourth quarter, but then the defense allowed Cleveland to tie the game with just under two minutes to play. Schaub had a chance to lead a game-winning drive, but the Ravens went three-and-out.

The offense got the ball back again with 56 seconds to play, and the first pass of that drive ended up in the hands of a Cleveland defender. The late interception looked like it was going to set up a game-winning field goal for the Browns and another crushing loss.

That's when defensive end Brent Urban blocked the field goal and safety Will Hill returned it for a walk-off victory.

"We're definitely making it hard on ourselves. That's for sure," Schaub said. "It was surreal. It was special. It's hard to win in this game, in this business, and anytime you can, you have to enjoy it no matter how it happens.

"It obviously wasn't pretty, and we gave ourselves every chance to lose that game, but we found a way to win."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content