It has been somewhat of a down season for the NFL. Attendance and ratings are fine, but scoring is down, several star players have been sidelined by injury, and there have been few compelling storylines through half a season. Of course, if you are a Taylor Swift fan, then all is well in your world, as Swift and Travis Kelce have dominated coverage and advertising through eight weeks.
If you aren’t a Swifty, however, there is a player and a storyline brewing in Texas that is as compelling as anything the league has seen in a while. The Houston Texans quarterback, C.J. Stroud, is rewriting the record books in his first year in the NFL.
Stroud, who was selected second overall in the most recent NFL draft, has been as good as any rookie quarterback in league history. Stoud was a highly regarded prospect coming out of Ohio State, but considering the state of the Texans roster, was expected to struggle mightily for a couple of seasons until the team accrued some meaningful skill talent around him.
Instead, C.J. Stroud has turned the Texans into an exciting underdog story, and his level of play has been off the charts. Even more exciting is his demeanor. Stroud is a devout Christian and is sure to always give credit to God for his winning exploits and his abilities on the field.
Last Sunday, immediately after lighting up the Tampa Bay Bucs for an NFL rookie record 470 passing yards and engineering a last-second, 75-yard victory drive, capped by a touchdown pass to fellow rookie Tank Dell, all Stroud could talk about was his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
In the post-game interview with CBS’s Evan Washburn, Stroud said: “First and foremost man, I’ve got to give all glory and praise to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, man. On the field, we were going through a lot, and I remembered when we were in our chapel, and our pastor was talking about worship when you’re away, so basically worship when things aren’t the greatest.
Stroud is referring to his most recent game, where he finally threw his first interception of the year and actually looked like a rookie quarterback. Instead of ruminating and complaining, Stroud leaned into his faith and trusted the Lord to have his back.
The dynamic rookie continued: “And that’s the true testament to faith. For me, that’s what I rely on. I couldn’t be up here, I couldn’t do anything on that field without my Lord and Savior. He’s given me a sense of peace even when everything around me is going crazy. Just got to say that and give y’all a little nugget of the Word.”
The “word” in Houston is all good. The Texans have one of the most exciting young prospects in years, and the future is finally bright for a franchise that has struggled with relevancy during its short existence. More importantly, Stroud’s coaches and teammates have bought into the hype and the talent.
Stroud continued: “Honestly, I was just trying to stay cool, calm and collected, one play at a time. I told those boys up front, ‘Y’all, give me just a little time, I’m going to make them pay.’ I just told them, ‘We’re going to go win this game. I don’t know if y’all believe it or not, but I know I believe it, and I know if you look at me in my eyes, y’all can tell.’ We went out there and we did it, and by the glory of God, now we’re 4-4.”
It is a small miracle that the hapless Texans are in the Wild Card race, and C.J. Stroud is the primary reason. Adding in the fact that he is God-centric and a genuinely likable man, and the Houston Texans have something big brewing in the Lone Star state for years to come.
Featured image screen grab from embedded YouTube video
"*" indicates required fields