Houston Texans rookie quarterback CJ Stroud has been the talk of the NFL over the last couple of weeks. He has led his team to clutch wins in its last two games, and he is currently the odds-on favorite to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
He had five touchdown passes in Week 9 versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, including one to Tank Dell with just seconds left to give Houston a 39-37 victory. Last weekend, he led a last-minute drive that ended with a game-winning field goal by Matt Ammendola.
Stroud has been very impressive, and in more ways than one. Dell talked about how his leadership has resulted in his teammates being prepared to take the field and claim victory.
“He just puts that that extra time and his preparation is amazing,” Dell said by phone. “He’d just sent us videos all throughout the night. It’s like eleven at night, almost midnight, and he’s still sending us clips of how their defense is playing and telling us how we should adjust and things like that. I’d say it’s preparation, but then his swagger, he have that confidence about himself that he can be one of the best in the league. So, I’d say all that mixed in with each other.
NFL News & Rumors: C.J. Stroud, Tank Dell, Houston Texans Updates
“He makes everybody prepare well and you have to when you have a quarterback preparing well, and he has the biggest responsibility,” Dell continued. “You’re going to want to go out there and prepare well each and every week, for sure.”
With Stroud doing an admirable job of guiding his team, it has forged an impressive 5-4 record. At this point, with a relatively favorable schedule the rest of the way, perhaps it will even have a shot at snagging a wild-card playoff spot in the AFC, something that seemed completely unthinkable as recently as September.
The Texans had finished 3-13-1 last season and had traded wide receiver Brandin Cooks, arguably its best offensive player, to the Dallas Cowboys during the offseason. With a new head coach in DeMeco Ryans, the thinking was that simply doubling last year’s win total would be an accomplishment.
Instead, they may be able to triple that win total from 2022.
CJ Stroud has thrown for 2,626 yards and 15 touchdowns through nine games, and perhaps the most impressive stat of all is just two interceptions, which is rare for a QB at this point of the season, let alone a rookie QB.
Just imagine how much bigger his numbers will look in the near future when he will perhaps have some better playmakers around him as Ryans tries to build a winner in Houston.