C.J. Stroud and the Houston Texans (2-3) have been extremely competitive this season, and the rookie quarterback feels it’s because his teammates are beginning to trust him more as the weeks progress.
“Me personally, I think it’s a certain look you get in the huddle from vets and guys who have done it and been there before,” Stroud said Wednesday, per ProFootballTalk. “In college [at Ohio State], I remember starting off — we were really good, and we ended up losing to Oregon, and I still played decently in that game … and I remember still getting hate from it. Guys would just rally around me, and I was like, ‘Alright, man. This is my offense. I’ve got this.’
“Now in this offense when I get in the huddle, and I’m saying the plays — guys look at me right in my eyes. It feels like they trust me more than they did maybe in the preseason or like Week 1, [or] Week 2. So I definitely think when you put it on the field, that’s when guys in the building and the organization, front office, the coaches, the players, everybody — even the chefs look at you different.”
Stroud, who the Texans selected with the second overall pick in this year’s draft, became the first quarterback in NFL history to not throw an interception in his first five starts after another solid performance in Week 5. The 22-year-old now boasts the league record for the most passes without a pick to start an NFL career, now at 186.
Stroud, a new favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year, has totaled 1,461 passing yards, seven passing scores and a 98.4 passer rating while completing 61.3% of his passes so far this season. His top conduits in the passing game have been wide receivers Nico Collins (25 receptions for 467 yards and three TDs) and Tank Dell (19 receptions for 324 yards and two TDs). As a whole, the Texans have just two turnovers on the season.
Houston’s two victories this season have come in convincing fashion, beating the reigning AFC South champion Jacksonville Jaguars on the road, 37-17, and defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers at home, 30-6.
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