C.J. Stroud, the second overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft, is off to a phenomenal start in his professional career. The Houston Texans quarterback has been breaking records and impressing fans with his poise, accuracy and leadership. In his first three games, Stroud has thrown for 906 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions, becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to achieve such feat.
A Record-Breaking Debut
Stroud made his NFL debut in Week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens, a tough matchup for any rookie. He completed 28 of 44 passes for 242 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions. He also showed his mobility, rushing for 31 yards on six carries. Although the Texans lost 25-9, Stroud earned praise from his coaches and teammates for his performance.
“He did a great job of managing the game, making good decisions and taking care of the ball,” Texans head coach Demeco Ryans said. “He showed a lot of poise and confidence for a young guy.”
Stroud improved in Week 2 against the Indianapolis Colts, throwing for 384 yards and two touchdowns on 30 of 47 passes. He also avoided any sacks or turnovers, despite facing constant pressure from the Colts’ defense. He led the Texans to a 31-20 victory, their first win of the season and his first as a starter.
“He was outstanding today,” Ryans said. “He made some big-time throws and kept us in the game. He has a lot of talent and potential, and he’s only going to get better.”
Stroud continued his stellar play in Week 3 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, throwing for 280 yards and two touchdowns on 23 of 37 passes. He also ran for a touchdown, capping off a dominant 37-17 win for the Texans. He became the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for at least 900 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions in his first three career starts.
“He’s amazing,” Texans tight end Brevin Jordan said. “He’s a leader, he’s a playmaker and he’s a winner. He’s everything you want in a quarterback.”
A Star In The Making
Stroud’s impressive start has not gone unnoticed by the rest of the league. He has received accolades from analysts, fans and fellow players, who have recognized his talent and potential.
“He’s a stud,” Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson said after facing Stroud in Week 1. “He can make all the throws, he can run, he can do it all. He’s going to be a problem in this league for a long time.”
“He’s a beast,” Colts linebacker Darius Leonard said after facing Stroud in Week 2. “He’s got a cannon arm, he’s got great touch and he’s got great poise. He doesn’t play like a rookie at all. He plays like a veteran.”
“He’s a star,” Jaguars cornerback CJ Henderson said after facing Stroud in Week 3. “He’s got it all. He’s got the size, the speed, the arm strength, the accuracy, the intelligence and the charisma. He’s got that ‘it’ factor that you can’t teach.”
Stroud has also drawn comparisons to some of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, such as Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes.
“He reminds me a lot of Peyton Manning when he was young,” Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik said. “He has that same work ethic, that same attention to detail and that same command of the offense.”
“He has some Tom Brady qualities,” Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks said. “He has that same competitive fire, that same clutch gene and that same leadership ability.”
“He has some Patrick Mahomes traits,” Texans running back David Johnson said. “He has that same creativity, that same arm talent and that same swagger.”
A Bright Future Ahead
Stroud has already established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, despite being only three games into his career. He has led the Texans to a surprising 2-1 record, putting them atop the AFC South division. He has also put himself in contention for several awards, such as Offensive Rookie of the Year, Pro Bowl and even MVP.
But Stroud is not satisfied with his early success. He knows he still has a lot to learn and improve on as he continues his journey in the NFL.
“I’m happy with how I’ve played so far, but I’m not complacent,” Stroud said. “I know I have to keep working hard, keep studying hard and keep getting better every day. I have high expectations for myself and for this team, and I’m not going to settle for anything less than greatness.”
Stroud has already shown glimpses of greatness in his short career. He has also shown that he has what it takes to be one of the best quarterbacks of all time.
He is C.J. Stroud, the rookie sensation who is making NFL history.