The Houston Texans season kicked off last night in Foxborough, in a thrilling contest against the New England Patriots. Rookies made their debuts, memorable highlights were made, and most importantly the Houston Texans secured the victory, winning by 13 points.
For the Texans, this was the first display of the complete unit and there were certainly many takeaways from the performance. Here are three of our observations from their first preseason contest.
C.J. Stroud endures rookie struggles
The highly anticipated preseason debut of rookie signal caller C.J. Stroud came to be last night. Though the expectations were mostly painting a glorious outcome, the actual result was far from it.
The 22-year-old struggled immensely in the couple of series he appeared in. In those series, Stroud completed two of his four pass attempts for 13 yards and an interception. The young signal-caller was also sacked once.
One thing to take away from this performance is that like many quarterbacks before him, Stroud went through the normal rookie struggles. On his lone interception, the 2023 second-overall pick made the critical mistake of locking eyes with his receiver, allowing Patriots defensive back Jalen Mills to easily read his eyes to force the turnover.
Currently in the thick of an intense competition with incumbent Davis Mills for the Texans' starting quarterback job, this performance did not do much to help his cause. On the flip side, Mills put together a solid performance, completing 9 of 12 passes for 99 yards and a passing touchdown, and a fumble.
All in all, Stroud still has a lengthy learning curve ahead of him and this game offered him valuable reps. It may not have been the ideal stat line, but with a game of NFL action under his belt, this should only further assist him in his quest to become the guy behind center for the Texans.