NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year debate: Puka Nacua vs C.J. Stroud; 2 stellar rookies making their mark

Two stellar rookies setting marks, leading playoff runs and fighting for the coveted award.

New Orleans Saints v Los Angeles Rams
New Orleans Saints v Los Angeles Rams / Ric Tapia/GettyImages
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A Contender Emerges: Puka Nacua

While Stroud was making waves with his record-breaking performances, a confident rookie receiver from the Los Angeles Rams was not going down without a fight. Puka Nacua has been electrifying this season, amassing 1,445 receiving yards, the fourth-highest in the league leading up to Week 18. On top of that, he's made 101 receptions and scored five touchdowns in 16 games.

The competition between Stroud and Nacua has intensified as the season advanced. A week ago, Stroud's odds were at -1000, while Nacua's were at +500. The race for the OROY is now a thrilling two-horse race.

The Current OROY Odds

As of January 3rd, 2024, the odds for the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year are as follows:

  • C.J. Stroud, Texans: -1100 
  • Puka Nacua, Rams: +425 

The Playoff Situation

Stroud's record-breaking performances have put him in the running for the OROY and made the Houston Texans serious playoff contenders. 

The Texans currently sit at 9-7, third in the AFC South, and are on the cusp of the postseason. Their Week 18 game against the Colts is a must-win situation for Stroud and his team.

On the other hand, the Rams, also with a 9-7 record, have already clinched their wild-card spot in the playoffs. Given their secure playoff position, it remains to be seen if the Rams will rest Nacua. If Nacua is rested and Stroud delivers another standout performance in the final week of the regular season, the OROY could be his.