The Houston Texans weren't able to knock off the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, falling to the Trevor Lawrence led squad 24-21, but while the good guys fell in defeat, the Texans saw their rookie quarterback do all he could to help the team win. He scored three touchdowns in the loss to the Jaguars and played his tail off. So much so that the Texans nearly won.
Unfortunately, his stellar outing wasn't enough, and the Texans are now 6-5 on the season. The loss means the Texans no longer control their destiny and are now instead in need of some help as they continue on this long road that is the regular season. The Texans sit 8th in the playoff standing following the loss to the Jags and need wins against the Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, and Tenessee Titans to help make headway in the Wild Card and AFC South standings.
And that means that Stroud is going to have to play his butt off even more than he already has. Otherwise, this offense isn't going to go anywhere. Thankfully for everyone involved, the Texans have a pretty dang good rookie. So good, that even in defeat, he's still the guy to beat in the NFL Rookie of the Year Award.
He's currently the top trending name among all the Offensive Rookie of the Year candidates, with Puka Nacua being his biggest threat so far. Nacua is about to break the 1,000-yard threshold as a rookie, and considering the fact the Los Angeles Rams is keeping pace at the back of the playoff race, it's possible he steals some votes from Stroud.
Still, despite the fact that Nacua is having a great rookie season of his own, the Rams are still a losing team and the Texans are only where they are thanks to the play of Stroud. And since the Texans still have a winning record, it's hard to even vote against Stroud at this point.