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Houston Texans enjoying Top 10 status

Didn’t think it possible? Time to eat your words ...

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Houston Texans Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

It’s hard to say a top two pick in the NFL draft is an underdog. It’s easier to expect that once said pick hits the field with the team that presumably performed so poorly the prior year they earned a top two pick. It’s even easier when the front office of said team had the amount of toxic drama seen in NRG stadium over the last decade. Conventional wisdom says don’t expect said team to field a top 10 offense.

But guess what?

Houston Texans’ C.J. Stroud is a top 10 quarterback in the NFL.

The only quarterbacks with more yards than Stroud entering week 5:

Miami Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa - 1,306

Los Angeles Rams’ Matthew Stafford - 1,229

Minnesota Vikings’ Kirk Cousins - 1,214

Houston Texans’ C.J. Stroud - 1,212

And the impressive stats don’t end there.

Stroud’s 8.0 yards per attempt places him in third, behind Tagovailoa (9.6) and San Francisco 49ers’ Brock Purdy (9.1).

Stroud’s 100.6 passer rating puts him in ninth place among QBs with more than 10 pass attempts.

His 94 completions place him 9th on that list as well.

Stroud’s touchdown completions just miss the top 10, coming in at 11 with six passing scores.

And he shares the zero interceptions thrown so far with four other QBs who have made more than 10 pass attempts in 2023.

Speaking of Nico Collins, the third year receiver is first on the YAC list with 195, fifth on the total receiving yards list (428), tied for second place in touchdown catches (three) and 10th on the receiving first downs list (17). Just to make this more impressive, Collins is NOT in the top 10 receptions/targets list.

All this adds up to the Houston Texans owning 3rd place in most passing yards, eighth most passing touchdowns, a three-way tie for first place in interceptions thrown (zero), fourth most first downs (56) and ninth fewest sacks surrendered.

And this is happening without multiple key pieces of the offensive line.

Injuries have decimated the Texans offensive line over the first month of 2023 football. I’m the first to beat the “it all starts with the offensive line” drum. But, against all odds, DeMeco Ryans and Bobby Slowik have this offensive firing in top 10 fashion.

Just wait until Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard return to the field.