3 reasons the Houston Texans have exceeded expectations in 2023

  • The Texans are 3-3 heading into their BYE Week
  • DeMeco Ryans is the right coach for rebuilding
  • CJ Stroud looks to be the franchise QB of the future
Houston Texans
Houston Texans / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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1. CJ Stroud is the franchise QB the Texans had been looking for

Finding a franchise quarterback is no easy task. Teams can spend years if not decades looking for one. Luckily for Houston, they have a keeper in C.J. Stroud, the No. 2 pick in the 2023 draft. But before selecting Stroud, the Texans went through a quarterback drought.

Back in 2021, Deshaun Watson made it clear he no longer wanted to play for the Texans and forced his way out. Without a plan in place to replace him, Houston went with Tyrod Taylor and later Davis Mills.

Even though Mills overachieved as a rookie, he came crashing down in 2022. Knowing the former Stanford Cardinal wasn't the long-term answer at quarterback, the Texans zeroed in on Stroud. However, they had to cross their fingers and hope the Carolina Panthers, who held the top pick in the draft, didn't select Stroud.

In the end, the Panthers chose Bryce Young and the Texans couldn't be more thrilled, as Stroud has already proven to be everything they thought he would be. Six weeks into the 2023 season, Stroud is playing like a vested veteran. It took him five weeks to throw his first interception and he's consistently put the Texans in a position to win games.

Granted, there's plenty of work left but Texans should feel great knowing they have a long-term answer at quarterback. A trip to the playoffs looks like a long shot in 2023 but expect Houston to compete for the AFC South crown next season with Stroud leading the way.