4 things we need to see from C.J. Stroud this season to justify his Top 5 status

C.J. Stroud can take his rightful seat as a made man in 2024 by doing these four things.
Houston Texans v Atlanta Falcons
Houston Texans v Atlanta Falcons / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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AFC Championship berth off his performances

This one may seem a bit mean to put in here, but it's fair. If you watch the Kansas City Chiefs or the Baltimore Ravens currently, it's fair to say that Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson are the ones doing the heavy lifting on offense. They're working past a fairly average wide receiver corps and excelling despite the talent around them.

When they win games, it's largely because of them. Same thing with the Buffalo Bills and Josh Allen. Allen is the force that powers that engine. One could make an argument that C.J. Stroud did just that in 2023. He was a big factor in why the Texans won the AFC South and went on to beat the Cleveland Browns.

Now, however, he's got to prove that it wasn't a fluke by doing it again and doing it better this year than last. If Stroud can be the offensive catalyst for the Houston Texans, driving them deeper into the postseason than just about any time prior and be the clear team MVP in the process, he'll be a top-five guy.

After all, to be the top quarterback in the league, means you're able to carry the team regardless of what goes on around you. No injury excuses. No complaints about the talent or lack thereof around you. Just pure execution.