If the playoffs started today, the quarterback of the highest-seeded team in the AFC would be T.J. Yates. The road to the Super Bowl would go through T.J. Yates.
He's what's left in Houston after Matt Leinart and Matt Schaub went down. The bad news is obvious -- Yates is a rookie, and rookie quarterbacks drafted in the fifth round generally do not enter the league as worldbeaters.
But there's good news, too. Yates was a four-year starter in college, and career starts in college is the single most important statistic in the Football Outsiders college quarterback projection system. That doesn't get the Texans in the endzone on Sunday, but it can't hurt. Not only did he start all four years, but it was in UNC's pro-style offense, too.
As far as a scouting report goes, Yates is a pocket quarterback who throws accurately short and intermediate, but isn't known as someone with tremendous physical skills. No one's going to confuse him with Cam Newton, but he...