The first half of the Houston Texans' Wildcard game against the Cleveland Browns couldn't have gone much better, all things considered.
As for quarterback C.J. Stroud playing in his first playoff game, ever? You could call it a near-perfect performance. There is little doubt that we're witnessing the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year at work.
Stroud entered the half having gone 11-for-16, for 236 yards and three touchdowns. The Browns' defense couldn't get a lick of pressure on the rookie quarterback. It felt like Stroud was carving up Cleveland left and right, but the fact is, he only completed 11 passes.
In short, Stroud was spectacular.
His third touchdown of the half went to tight end Dalton Schultz, and it was a beautifull-ran play-action toss that was executed to perfection.
C.J. Stroud had one miss in the first half of his playoff debut, but beyond that, he was perfect
Yes, Stroud did have one moment in the first half he'd like to forget.
Let's talk about that rare blemish. Stroud had wide receiver Nico Collins wide-open on a would-be touchdown, but missed him. Collins was streaking down the field and Stroud had him ... until he didn't.
Despite the tough miss on that possible touchdown to Collins, Stroud was lights-out the rest of the way. No one will even remember that miss based on how Stroud played the rest of the half.
Just take a look at the reactions to his first half on social media, starting with a former NFL quarterback and followed by fans all over.
Barring a complete meltdown in the second half, Stroud is on his way to maybe the most memorable postseason performance by a rookie quarterback, ever.