The Houston Texans got some major news this week; C.J. Stroud is returning to the starting lineup just in time to save the season for the upstart team. Stroud was on a tear, stealing every game he was in practically with his dazzling passes and incredible decision-making. He helped the Texans get off to a great start and helped drag them to playoff contention despite being in the middle of a rebuild.
Most rookie quarterbacks aren't expected to do well, let alone put up Pro Bowl-caliber numbers. While Stroud's Pro Bowl season was halted, and his likelihood to make the Pro Bowl team is up in the air, he can still help the Texans get to the playoffs. The team sits at 8-7 but has been just 2-3 in their last five. Two of those losses came when Stroud suffered a concussion against the New York Jets, and then this past Sunday after they got drubbed by the Cleveland Browns.
Those two losses should've knocked the Texans out of the playoff race for sure, but losses to the Indianapolis Colts and the Jacksonville Jaguars have made things very interesting. All three AFC South teams are now 8-7, and the Colts and Texans have an end-of-the-year matchup that may decide the fate of the playoffs.
The Colts hold the last Wild Card spot and if both teams win on Sunday, then they'll play for the right to go to the playoffs next week. To get to the Colts game and have it matter, however, Stroud will have to return to mid-season form against the Titans. The last time the two teams met just a handful of weeks ago, the Texans offense had no life in it and they barely got away with a win.
They can't afford to lose another game, especially to the lowly Titans, so hopefully C.J. Stroud can help get the Texans over the hump.