After the best performance the league has seen from a rookie QB, it is truly time to ask if CJ Stroud is already an elite passer in the NFL. What CJ Stroud has done thus far in his rookie season is nothing short of amazing. Are there really 10 QBs in the NFL better than Stroud? In the NFL, we have all gotten so used to rookie QBs looking like rookies in their first year.
Guys like Kyler Murray, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, and many others showed flashes of promise in their first years, but looked overwhelmed for the most part. Well, Stroud seems to have not endured the rookie lumps that most QBs take. Through eight games, the Houston Texans are 4-4 and have the 11th-ranked scoring offense in the NFL.
The former Ohio State QB has completed 62% of his passes for 2,270 yards, 14 touchdowns, one interception, and has earned a passer rating of 102.9. He's also got a very good 62.3 QBR and has taken just 18 sacks through eight games. There's really no clear weakpoint for Stroud thus far. I guess his completion percentage is lower right now, but this is still his rookie season.
Stroud is on pace for 4,825 yards and 30 touchdown passes. He'd also on pace to set literally every single rookie passing record as well. For the Texans, they likely viewed this year as an "official" year one of their rebuild, and even though they drafted Stroud, I'd be surprised if they truly thought he'd put it together this early in his career.
At this point, we should be talking about the Texans being a legitimate Wild Card team. They have the 14th-ranked scoring defense, so both of their units are in the top-half of the NFL. Going forward, the Texans should be given more respect, and first-year head coach DeMeco Ryans certainly needs to be favorite for coach of the year. It's clear that Houston is not a Super Bowl contender at this point, but I think they can be when 2024 rolls around.