C.J. Stroud made his NFL playoff debut last week against the Cleveland Browns in the Wild Card round. Stroud was on fire in the game, throwing for 274 yards and three touchdowns en route to a 45-14 victory. It was quite the performance from the rookie, especially when you consider he had never played in an NFL postseason game before.
Rookie quarterbacks winning in the playoffs isn't a common theme so Stroud has a chance to make history if he wins again on Saturday and advances to the AFC Championship Game. Only three rookie quarterbacks have made it to their respective conference title games in NFL history.
C.J. Stroud is one win away from making history
If Stroud and the Texans go into Baltimore and hand the No. 1 seeded Ravens a loss, he'll advance to the AFC Championship Game as a rookie. The only other rookie quarterbacks to have made it to their respective team's conference title games are Joe Flacco (2008), Mark Sanchez (2009), and Brock Purdy (2022).
Flacco led the Ravens to the AFC Championship Game in the 2009 playoffs (2008 season) only to lose to the Steelers. Sanchez helped the Jets get to the AFC title game during the 2010 playoffs where they fell to the Colts.
It was a bit odd that this hadn't occurred until Flacco did it in 2009 and then it happened again the very next year. After Sanchez helped the Jets get to the conference title game, a rookie quarterback failed to make it back until Brock Purdy did so a year ago. He took over for Niners toward the end of the regular season due to injuries but helped lead them all the way to the NFC Championship Game where they fell to the Eagles.
If Stroud makes it to the AFC Championship Game, he'll, at the very least, join those three guys in the history books.