Week 2 of the 2023 NFL season is upon us. And, with that brings the Indianapolis Colts and their new rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson to Houston to face the Texans. While the interdivisional rivalry with said baby horses isn’t what it once was, this game has all the makings of a new era of AFC South combat. DraftKings Sportsbook had the Texans opening as 1-point favorites.
How many head-to-head battles between Richardson and Houston Texans’ own rookie rocket slinger C.J. Stroud will occur over the next many seasons? Which QB will “own” the other in these battles? Who will throw for more yards? Touchdowns? Interceptions? Not just on Sunday, but all-time?
Are we preparing to witness the first game of the modern Manning vs Brady? Or will Richardson wash out of the NFL while Stroud rises to dominance? Right now, it’s anyone’s guess. But, here’s a hint:
C.J. Stroud tied fourth-most completions ever by QB in NFL debut.
I love this photo. First person to celebrate with @will_anderson28 after his first sack was @jongreenard7. These two are going to be huge in the long term for the Texans to be successful. #WeAreTexans pic.twitter.com/zoMYzcoVrN— Scottish Texans (@ScottishTexans) September 11, 2023
Indianapolis Colts Stats
- QB ANTHONY RICHARDSON (rookie) completed 24 of 37 attempts (64.9 pct.) for 223 yards and a TD vs. INT and rushed for 40 yards and a TD in NFL debut last week, becoming youngest player in SB era (21 years, 111 days) with pass TD & rush TD in same game. Can become fifth rookie QB ever with rush TD in each of first two career games.
- RB ZACK MOSS can make season debut. Had 70+ scrimmage yards in each of final four games of 2022 season with Buffalo, including career-high 121 yards vs. Houston in Week 18. Aims for his third in row vs. Houston with 60+ rush yards & rush TD.
- RB DEON JACKSON had 110 scrimmage yards (75 rec., 35 rush) with six catches in last meeting.
- WR MICHAEL PITTMAN led team with eight catches for 97 yards and a TD last week. Aims for his fourth in row overall and third in row vs. Hou. with receiving TD. Has 50+ receiving yards in three of his past four vs. division.
- WR ALEC PIERCE had 42 receiving yards in last meeting.
- TE KYLEN GRANSON tied career high with four catches in Week 1. Has four catches in three of his past four vs. division.
- DT DEFOREST BUCKNER had seven tackles, sack, FF and a FR-TD last week, one of three players in NFL with sack, FF & FR in Week 1. Had two TFL in last meeting. Aims for his third in row vs. division with TFL.
- DE KWITY PAYE had two TFL & sack in Week 1. Had seven tackles and two sacks in last road meeting. Has sack in two of his past three vs. division.
- LB ZAIRE FRANKLIN led team with career-high 18 tackles and had FF & PD in Week 1, second-most tackles by any player last week. Aims for his third in row with FF. Had two TFL, sack and a FF in last meeting.
- LB SHAQUILLE LEONARD had eight tackles & TFL last week. Has FF in two of his past three vs. Houston
- S RODNEY THOMAS had INT in last meeting.
- CB TONY BROWN had first-career INT in Week 1.
Houston Texans Stats
- QB C.J. STROUD (rookie) completed 28 of 44 attempts (63.6 pct.) for 242 yards with 0 INTs in NFL debut last week, tied fourth-most completions ever by QB in NFL debut. Can join Kyler Murray as only QBs ever with 25+ completions in each of first two career games.
- RB DAMEON PIERCE rushed for 38 yards last week. Aims for his third in row vs. division with 50+ scrimmage yards and a TD. Had 50+ scrimmage yards in four of his final five home games last season.
- RB DEVIN SINGLETARY had 43 scrimmage yards (26 rec., 17 rush) in only career regular season game vs. Indianapolis (11/21/21 w/ Buffalo).
- WR NICO COLLINS had six catches for team-high 80 rec. yards last week, second-career game with 80+ rec. yards. Has 5+ catches in four of his past five. Has 65+ rec. yards in two of his past three vs. division.
- WR ROBERT WOODS tied for team lead with six catches for 57 yards in Houston debut last week.
- TE DALTON SCHULTZ has 6+ catches and 50+ rec. yards in two of his past three vs. AFC South.
- DE JERRY HUGHES had two sacks, an INT and FF in last home meeting. Had six sacks in eight home games last season.
- DE WILL ANDERSON had six tackles and a sack in NFL debut last week, one of five rookies with sack in Week 1.
- DE JONATHAN GREENARD had five tackles, two TFL and a sack last week. Had only career INT in last meeting.
- LB DENZEL PERRYMAN led team with 11 tackles and had TFL last week. Aims for his fourth in row with TFL. Had seven tackles and FF in his last game vs. Indianapolis (1/2/22 w/ Las Vegas).
- LB CHRISTIAN HARRIS had six tackles and a sack in Week 1. Aims for his third in row overall with sack. Had sack, two TFLs and a PD in last meeting.
- CB STEVEN NELSON had 10th-career INT last week. Had five tackles and two PD in last home meeting.
RICHARDSON & STROUD FACE OFF IN HISTORIC MEETING
When ANTHONY RICHARDSON and the Colts travel to face C.J. STROUD and the Texans, it will mark the second game in NFL history featuring two starting quarterbacks both under the age of 22. Each quarterback is currently 21 years old. The only other such matchup was when Tampa Bay’s JAMEIS WINSTON met Tennessee’s MARCUS MARIOTA in Week 1 of the 2015 season.
Stroud was selected with the second overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, while Richardson was selected with the fourth. Sunday’s meeting will also mark the seventh game since 1950 featuring two rookie starting quarterbacks that were each selected in the top five of the NFL Draft.
Stroud completed 28 passes on Kickoff Weekend, tied for the fourth-most ever by a quarterback in his NFL debut, and tied for the fifth-most completions among all quarterbacks last week. With 27 completions, Stroud can move into the top five for most completions ever by a player in his first two career games.
The players with the most pass completions in their first two career games in NFL history: