One of the knocks on Houston Texans rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud when he was coming out of college was the alma mater. That's right, “Ohio State Buckeye” is apparently a debit in the NFL quarterback quality account. In fact, there seems to be a large number of people convinced that should an Ohio State QB make it to the NFL, they will surely fail faster than they were drafted. Seems like a rather silly thing to assure yourself predicts individual future performance, but people say and do weird things these days. The post-COVID world is the Wild West of bizarre human behavior. But, that’s a topic for another time.
Thankfully, H-Town’s newest gunslinger is proving the whole “Ohio State can’t QB” narrative wrong.
How exactly is he doing that you ask?
By setting records in only his second NFL start behind a patchwork O-line in a newly installed offensive scheme. That’s right, Stroud set a record for Ohio State QBs in the NFL. It also places him in 18th place all-time for most passing yards by a rookie in an NFL game and second for most by a Houston Texan rook in a game.
For those keeping track at home, it’s five yards more than any Dallas Cowboy rooking ever, also (Troy Aikman passed for 379 yards in a game against the Cardinals during his rookie year).
Don’t believe the O-line is any excuse? Then you don’t understand football. In fact, it matters far more than what university is on Stroud’s degree.
Right guard Shaq Mason is the only OL who started today's game who began training camp with the #Texans as a starter. Everyone else is an injury substitute with Laremy Tunsil (knee) sidelined today, and following players on IR: Kenyon Green (torn labrum), Tytus Howard (hand…— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) September 17, 2023
Even though the Texans are still searching for their first win, and not likely to find it this weekend, Stroud is putting the league on the tip. Once this offense starts firing on all cylinders, yards and points are going to pile up in bunches.
After 2 games, here's where #Texans QB C.J. Stroud ranks among AFC QBs:— Adam Wexler (@AdamJWexler) September 19, 2023
Attempts: 91 (2nd)
Completions: 58 (3rd)
Comp. %: 63.7 (10th)
Yards: 626 (2nd)
Yds/Att: 6.88 (7th)
TD: 2 (T-8)
INT: 0 (T-1st w/ Herbert)
Passer Rating: 91.2 (6th)
Times Sacked: 11 (Most)
And if Stroud is doing this while running for his life. Just imagine what this team will look like when they start to hit their stride after week four.
Anyone watching Texans can see how good Stroud is and how much he's improving. When the O line gets healthy, he should be even more effective. Run game should make substantial improvement. That won't happen until RT Tytus Howard and C Juice Scruggs come off IR after week 4.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) September 18, 2023
When Tytus Howard and Juice Scruggs return to the lineup, the rest of the offense has worked out some kinks, OC Bobby Slowik has more play calling/game planning experience and Stroud is truly comfortable commanding this team, watch out.