Loss overshadows rookie QB C.J. Stroud’s historic day for Texans
DJ Bien-Aime, ESPNSep 18, 2023, 06:00 AM ET
The Texans had simply fallen to 0-2, however their rookie quarterback, C.J. Stroud, had simply come off a historic day.
Stroud completed with 384 yards passing (going 30-of-47), the primary two landing passes of his profession and no interceptions — all coming behind a Texans’ offensive line that was lacking 4 starters.
“Man, he is particular,” proper guard Shaq Mason instructed ESPN.
Stroud’s 384 yards have been second-most by a participant age 21 or youthful because the merger (1970), trailing solely Matthew Stafford (422 yards) in 2009, in line with ESPN Stats & Data, and it was the very best mark of any participant in Week 2. Stroud additionally had the second-most passing yards by a Texans rookie in franchise historical past, behind solely Deshaun Watson (402 yards) in 2017.
“There’s positives from C.J.’s recreation,” Mason stated. “He has what it takes to take that leap and be an awesome QB on this league.”
Most of Stroud’s injury got here within the fourth quarter. Houston scored the one factors of the quarter, chopping the deficit from 31-10 behind Stroud’s 190 passing yards and his second landing throw on the day.
“C.J. is a competitor, and he reveals that,” coach DeMeco Ryans stated. “He continues to struggle it doesn’t matter what odds are stacked in opposition to him. Regardless of who’s in entrance of him, it does not matter, and now we’d like everyone round him to proceed to have that successful mindset and go play successful soccer.”
Stroud was pressured on 47% of his dropbacks and sacked six instances, however he was pleased with how the Texans by no means recreation up.
“I really feel like I did OK,” Stroud stated. “In fact, you at all times need to do higher. Received to not take sacks within the crimson zone and received to attain within the crimson zone. That undoubtedly was the primary motive why we did not put any factors on the board. We have been driving the ball fairly nicely, simply received to complete these drives.
“I really feel like, total, there’s gentle on the finish of the tunnel. I believe there’s hope. I believe we confirmed that as we speak that we’ll struggle, and we’re not simply going to show round and lay down simply because the rating flips early. We’ll preserve combating ’til the tip.”
Each of Stroud’s landing passes got here when he did not face stress, and he went 22-of-28 for 287 yards with 10.3 yards per try when not pressured, in line with Subsequent Gen Stats.
Stroud wasn’t the one one with a profession day, nonetheless.
Extensive receiver Nico Collins went over 100 yards for the primary time in his three-year profession, ending with seven catches for 146 yards and a landing, and rookie extensive receiver Tank Dell, a third-round choose, caught his first landing and completed with 72 yards.
“We needed to make some strikes on offense [in the second half], and we’re simply making an attempt to execute and make performs,” Collins stated. “C.J. was going via his reads and was dicing them up.”
The Texans additionally struggled to get the run recreation going, as they rushed for less than 52 yards on 26 carries, which put a lot of the onus on Stroud and the go recreation.
“He confirmed poise, he is getting higher week by week, and we are able to see it on the sector,” working again Dameon Pierce Pierce stated. “We simply received to do a greater job of retaining him protected. He was the No. 2 choose within the draft for a motive. He is an awesome participant, and he has an awesome arm.”