It looks like the Houston Texans got their quarterback. At the very least, C.J. Stroud has them buzzing deep in the heart of Texas and skies the limit on what lies ahead for the No. 2 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month on Thursday, Stroud is demonstrating on the field that taking him at that spot was the right move for the Texans. Well, it was the obvious choice in their quest to find their next franchise quarterback. In forming a connection with fellow rookie, wide receiver Tank Dell, Stroud is putting up the numbers offensively which finally resulted in a win last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
In an upset victory, Stroud had a 118.8 QB rating, throwing for 280 yards and two touchdowns in the victory over the Jags. It was the icing on a sizzling start for the rookie quarterback that not only landed him the Offensive Rookie of the Month nod, but also has him rising up the NFL QB Index.
Texans have a bright future and present with C.J. Stroud at quarterback
As NFL.com writer Nick Shook writes, Stroud’s jump to No. 20 among the 32 NFL quarterbacks, it is Stroud’s maturity and patience on the field that has the future shining bright for the Texans:
"“Through three weeks, Stroud is proving me right. He’s settling into this offense incredibly quickly, is unfazed by the pass rush, has no problem calmly surveying the field and is trusting his renowned accuracy. It paid off in droves in Sunday’s road blowout of the Jaguars — just look at fellow rookie Tank Dell’s stat line for further proof. My notes were filled with scribbles raving about how much Stroud trusts his offensive line and the play design. The most striking example of this came on his touchdown pass to Dell: Stroud stepped up in the pocket and lofted a pass away from the nearest defender, not only connecting with Dell, but giving him plenty of room to run into the end zone. He’s thriving, folks, and first-time offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik deserves a ton of credit for scheming through the strengths of his quarterback”"
Speaking of Slowik, the Texans offensive coordinator has been impressed with Stroud, obviously. What stands out about the young quarterback, especially against the Jags, was his ability to take command of the field by getting the ball out quickly and also stepping up in the pocket when needed. Again, in Week 4 he will be challenged going up against T.J. Watt, Alex Highsmith and a very good Pittsburgh Steelers defense.
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Can C.J. Stroud rise to the occasion?
Well, that patience on the field will be put to the test and Slowik knows it.
"“The challenge is about as high as it gets,” Slowike said, via the team’s official website. “T.J. leads the league in sacks. I think he leads the league in pressures. Highsmith on the other side is right up there. I think he’s second behind T.J. in forced fumbles over the last two years. We’ve talked about it a lot.”"
In all, if mistake free, the matchup against the Steelers will be a tough test, but a winnable game for the Houston Texans in their home stadium. Can the Stroud to Dell connection continue their great start to their NFL careers, or will the rookies be brought down a notch?
All eyes on C.J. Stroud this Sunday vs the Pittsburgh Steelers.