MASTERS OF DISASTER
or "Just Throw it Up There, Someone Will Score"
What do Blake Bortles, Brett Favre, Matt Schaub and the Manning brothers have in common? They all make a great tuna mac. No, wait: They've all shown savvy ability to throw the Pick-Six.
Ah, the Pick-six: the most efficient Doormat play an offense can run. Less risky than allowing a punt return for a TD (too much can go wrong). Often overlooked in a quarterback's statistics, here at the Doormat Division we take this tally with all due seriousity.
Brett Favre, dangerously confident hero of the frozen north, is the all-time pick-six leader with a seemingly insurmountable 31- 186 magnificent points for the other team. However, Brett, our NFL interceptions leader at 336, took 19 seasons to get those lofty totals.
Over in Jacksonville, though, Jaguar Blake Bortles (who inspired this article), has been in the league only 3 years, and already has 11. Should he bamboozle someone into letting him start for 6 more years, he'll have 33 in only 9 seasons. Now that's working it. Blake has thrown 3 pick-sixes in the last 4 games. He's on fire. I'll bet Charles Woodson wants to come out of retirement for whoever is playing the Jags next- he's only 1 pick-six score behind Rod Woodson, the career leader with 12 (this stat is not helping us keep straight which Woodson is which).
If Bortles keeps this up, he gets to grab a clipboard and be a back-up for the rest of his career, like the illustrious Matt Schaub.
For one season, Peyton Manning has the record with 6 (2001) before he stopped trying to squeeze passes through 4 defenders. After that, it was only 3.
Tied with Peyton is, of course, the Chicago Bear's Rudy Bukich in 1966. But you knew that. Rudy, a 12 year back-up, got handed the job with the Bears in '65, beating out the gassed Billy Wade, who was two years Bukich's senior at 35. Both of them came up with the Rams, with Wade a #1 pick. The Bears went 9-5, but Bukich was mostly handing the ball to Gale Sayers. The next year, though, Rudy got his chance- 21 interceptions against 10 TDs. Sadly, no pick-six data for that year.
For one game, it's Peyton's long-bomb brother Eli (and slew of others) with 3.
For one QUARTER, it's the legendary Ed Baker (3). Baker's moment of glory was his only start for the Houston Oilers in 1972. He went 4 for 10, with four interceptions, so he spread it around, however telegraphed they may have been. He was a Doormat machine. It is notable that the Oilers won the Moldy Carpet that year, going 1-13.
Most consecutive games with a Pick-Six: 4, Matt Schaub, 2013 (Houston Texans). Seems like only 100 years ago when Schaub was considered one of the best in the league and went to the Pro Bowl twice (amassing a whopping -9 yards at Aloha Stadium, showcasing his 2012 talents admirably). Then the wheels came off: in 2013 Schaub threw 14 interceptions to a measly 10 touchdowns, and ran off the 4 straight games with a pick-six, thus ending his career as a starter (giving way to budding Doormat pro Case Keenum). With his Pick-Six reputation at it's most shining, Matt landed the back-up job with the still-struggling Oakland Raiders in 2014, leading to perhaps his greatest Doormat moment, in the infamous game vs. the St. Louis Rams. Entering the game at a Doormat Division leading 1-11, the Raiders hit rock bottom in this one, somehow ultimately losing 52-0. It was the second worst defeat worst game in Raiders history, though possibly the worst game. [Read our inspired wrap-up: http://doormatdivision.blogspot.com/2014/12/doormat-week-13-raiders-take-charge.html ]
Raider rookie Derek Carr was getting shellacked, and, throwing in the towel, interim coach Tony Sparano (who had replaced Dennis Allen in game 5) told Schaub to put on a helmet and do something.
Wasting no time, Schaub responded by throwing his first pass for a pick six. When you aren't getting many opportunities any more, you gotta pad your stats. Throwing only 9 passes, Matt also fit in 3 sacks and 2 fumbles. The Silver and Blacked out finished the season 4-12- ironically being beaten out for the Moldy Carpet by the Houston Texans, who went 2-14.
Schaub is now plying his clipboard trade for the Atlanta Falcons, the team that originally drafted him. Falcon fans pray every morning, over their beer and cornflakes, that Matt Ryan plays every single down.
The Pick Six: a chance at immortality for the man willing to take chances.