Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud is enjoying a historically great rookie campaign, and head coach DeMeco Ryans has been amazed by his growth.
“C.J.’s been the same throughout the year. I’ve always spoke about his growth throughout the year — from Day 1 to where we are now — but he’s been consistent,” Ryans said, via Myles Simmons of Pro Football Talk. “I think throughout these past — throughout the past month that he’s been back from the injury, he’s just really been very calm. He’s been focused — he’s been laser focused, locked in. He’s been very calm, very confident, and I think everybody feels that around him.”
That laser focus was definitely on full display in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs, as Stroud went 16-for-21 with 274 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-14 victory over the Cleveland Browns.
It was just the latest impressive performance for the first-year signal-caller, who threw for 4,108 yards, 23 touchdowns and five interceptions while completing 63.9 percent of his passes and posting a passer rating of 100.8 in 15 starts during the regular season. He also led the NFL by averaging 273.9 passing yards per game.
“I think everybody’s just seeing — first off, they see C.J. and how he plays, how prepared he is when he steps on the field,” added Ryans. “And I hope everyone just sees a team that loves to play football, that finishes the right way, plays with high energy, because we have fun playing ball and I hope that’s what everyone sees and [hope] that everyone is dialed in to watch Houston Texans football.”
The Texans shocked the NFL world by going 10-7 and winning the AFC South division title this season when most expected them to finish in the cellar.
Now, thanks to a great coaching effort from DeMeco Ryans and some superb play by C.J. Stroud, Houston has a chance to advance to its first ever AFC Championship Game.
The Texans will battle the Baltimore Ravens in the Divisional Round this Saturday.