The regular season provides NFL players and coaches with opportunities to develop. Film study, extra practices, and game experience allow franchises to grow. Expectations continue to rise with the competition. C.J. Stroud continues to respond well when presented with this challenge. He led the Houston Texans to their first playoff win since 2019. His team will travel to Baltimore to take on the first-seeded Ravens this weekend after their wild-card win.
How will C.J. Stroud navigate against a stingy Baltimore Ravens defense?
C.J Stroud is unphased by opposing defenses
We’ve witnessed a few impressive seasons throughout the last 20 years of NFL action. Ben Roethlisberger (2004), Robert Griffin III (2012), and Russell Wilson (2012) began their NFL careers with an electrifying campaign. They exceeded expectations and led their respective franchises to a playoff berth. C.J. Stroud’s contributions produced similar results for the Texans this year. The former first-round pick finished the campaign ranked 8th in passing yards (4,109) and tied 14th in passing attempts (499). He threw 24 passing touchdowns (t-13th) and earned the most passing yards by a rookie quarterback in a game (470).
A noteworthy rookie resume prepared Stroud for a vigorous post-season journey. Victories against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers provided the young gunslinger with pivotal experience. It proved Stroud could handle stout defenses and that he was confident in his abilities. We expect Houston’s leader to continue his successful year against a stingy defense this weekend.
C.J Stroud will rise to the occasion against the Baltimore Ravens
The added weight of the playoffs is not unbearable for the Texans’ starting quarterback. He’s responded well to adversity and earned the trust of his peers since joining the team. A 45-14 win over the Browns is the latest accomplishment for Stroud. He finished the game with three touchdown passes and 274 passing yards. A 157.2 passer rating against the sixth-ranked Browns defense told the story. Stroud was damn near flawless, and it helped Houston secure a win. He convinced fans of his prowess and is prepared to duplicate his performance this weekend.
A leap of faith is required for some fans to believe Stroud can succeed against Mike MacDonald’s defense. They are a fierce group of men with ambitions of leaving a legacy. This season, the Ravens ranked second in coverage (94.4) and seventh in pass rush (81.5) They have X-Factors on every level of the defense. Kyle Hamilton (86.0), Jadeveon Clowney (85.7), and Roquan Smith (79.2) are highly motored players willing to sacrifice for a team win.
The AFC Divisional round gives the Houston Texans another chance to prove they are a Super Bowl LVIII. A win will show that their wild-card win was inevitable, and that they are worthy of being crowned NFL champions. Upstaging Lamar Jackson is the next test for C.J. Stroud. He’s ready, and we expect to watch him turn another page in history.
All statistics courtesy of pff.com