While the Houston Texans may not have actually won the game yesterday, which is the only stat that really counts, rookie C.J. Stroud didn’t stink up the field.
In his NFL debut, Stroud threw 44 passes, connected 28 times for 242 yards, a 5.5 yard average, 0 touchdowns and 0 interceptions.
The Baltimore Ravens defense managed to sack Stroud five times. One such tackle for loss resulted in a forced fumble.
While there was a play or two where Stroud should have thrown the ball away, not doing so with every pressure is likely why his interception stat is a goose egg.
To say Stroud excelled in ball control for a rook is an understatement.
CJ Stroud went 8 for 8 on hitch routes for 80 yards (per NGS). The hitch route was the most popular route today for Houston.— TexansCap (@TexansCap) September 11, 2023
The mounting injuries to the offensive line, leading to a musical chairs of sorts for the o-line depth chart, certainly didn’t help the rook.
Anyone trying to debate the effectiveness of the offensive line play need look no further than the running back stats:
Dameon Pierce: 11 carries for 38 yards
Devin Singletary: 7 carries for 15 yards
However, unlike some NFL noobs in the past, Stroud held it together, showed poise, leadership and the maturity necessary to lead this team.
#Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud message to his offensive line after being sacked 5 times, hit 10 times: 'Keep fighting. I'll be all right. I appreciate them hanging in there with me, fighting their tails off. I got to get the ball out and make better reads. It's a two-way street'…— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) September 10, 2023
In the end, while there are things to work on, obviously, the consensus is that Stroud did well with what he was given.
Here is DeMeco Ryans on CJ Stroud’s NFL debut.— SportsRadio 610 (@SportsRadio610) September 10, 2023
How did you feel about the rookie QB’s performance today?pic.twitter.com/5dvzrDSv2O
No one should have expected the Houston Texans to come out and dominate the Baltimore Ravens yesterday. But, everyone should expect Stroud to generate some highlight reel plays in the not so distant future.
Every Single clip in here is an NFL-level play. Stroud's talent and ceiling is a lot higher than most would think. He is Special. https://t.co/wqbnH0qvK1— Drew (@IndepthTexans) September 7, 2023
How do you think the rook’s debut went?