At the time of writing, an answer on who the starting quarterback will be for the Houston Texans is not official. Based on the tape and usage, a victor is already crowned.
2023 second overall selection C.J. Stroud is going to be the guy behind center to start the regular season. Barring injury, the title of starting quarterback will belong to the prized rookie. Looking at recent trends, it is not hard to see why.
Stroud showed improvement in his second preseason showing against the Miami Dolphins, completing 7 of his 12 passes for 60 yards while looking much more poised and confident in the pocket. Fellow competitor Davis Mills only completed 10 of his 22 passes on the night for 94 yards.
Last week’s contest marked the second straight preseason contest in which Stroud received less run. This can mean one of two things, the Texans value him as the starting option and don’t want to risk injury, or that his performance warranted benching. My inclination leans toward the first line of thought, especially as the team has continued to feed the rookie significant reps in practice with the first-team offense.
In an interview with local media following last Saturday’s contest, Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik praised Stroud’s accuracy and pinpoint throws.
“Does the ball go exactly where it wants to go? In C.J.’s case, it usually does,” Slowik said. “Something as little as if we’re sitting down on an over route and the ball is at our chest compared to at our facemask. In the NFL, that’s a big difference.”
With careful usage during the preseason and high praise from the Texans coaching staff, it seems all but guaranteed that Stroud will be the man behind center for Houston in the regular season. All that is left is the official announcement.