Matt Schaub has been one of the most productive quarterbacks in the league against the blitz in recent years. He completed 63% of his passes in 2008 against the blitz. He gained over 10 yards per pass attempt when blitzed last season. That's per pass attempt, not completion. He threw for 235 yards against the blitz alone against the Washington Redskins earlier this year.
One set of numbers sticks out, though. Schaub was only 18 for 33 with 166 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 1 interception last season against New York's blitz happy defense. What happened? Why did a guy who handles blitzes well struggle against a defense that loves to attack?
When teams send an extra guy at the quarterback, that means one less player is in coverage. It means more one on one opportunities. Schaub's first look is in the direction of Andre Johnson, perhaps the best wide receiver in the league. Against just about any opponent, a one on one favors Johnson. Doubling him presents its own problems, though. Not blitzing gives a quality quarterback like Schaub more time, which means he can find a secondary target.
The Jets are the exception, though. Most teams need to double Johnson to take him away. Losing that second man in a blitz creates problems. Darrelle Revis dominated Johnson by himself in that game, though. The Jets didn't need that second guy. He could go blitz without problems. I'm sure long time readers are tired of hearing it, but this is why Revis Island is more than just a nickname. Unlike most corners who line up on the right side or the left side on every single play, Revis will follow Johnson no matter where he goes for sixty minutes. He allows the extra guy to blitz without extreme peril leaving Johnson alone. Revis in effect creates an extra player on the field. He doubles Johnson without using two people.
Anybody could tell you Revis' value in shutting down an elite receiver, but it's pretty amazing the way he makes the entire defense better, particularly in a game like this.