If last week’s record-breaking performance wasn’t enough to convince you that Houston Texans star rookie quarterback CJ Stroud is the real deal, throwing for 470 yards and five touchdowns with no turnovers (an NFL rookie single-game record) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in which I dubbed him the “Next One”…He continued that momentum into Week 10 this past Sunday by defeating one of the better teams in the NFL and AFC the Cincinnati Bengals led by their pocket master in Joe Burrow who many consider a top two to three quarterback in the league.
He beat that team by throwing for 356 yards, an interception, a passing touchdown, a rushing touchdown, and two fumbles with a 59% completion rating and a passer rating of 87.1 in an entertaining 30-27 victory.
His numbers weren’t as gaudy as the week prior against the Buccaneers on the stat sheet against the Bengals, but he still found a way to get it done.
So what makes Stroud a potential MVP Candidate?
One thing we look for in potential MVPs across all sports is whether you are dominating in a way production-wise that only some in your respective sport ever have. The answer to that question is a resounding yes in regards to Stroud.
Not only is he coming off the highest single-game record for passing yards for a rookie in NFL history (470), but he also ranks first or tied first in many premier categories for quarterbacks from touchdown to interception ratio (15-2), passing yards per game (291.8), 300-yard games (4), 20+ yard completions (43).
Stroud, a rookie, ranks first in all those categories aside from 300-yard games in which he’s tied this season with Sam Howell, Kirk Cousins, Tua Tagavailoa, and Derek Carr.
What makes it more impressive is that he’s just a “baby” regarding NFL knowledge and understanding of concepts… We can only imagine what he looks like in three years once he fully understands the NFL… Have mercy.
Impact on Winning
AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack
Being a legitimate threat to win the MVP not only requires elite production on the stat sheet but also your impact on helping your team win games. Stroud has been the main catalyst for the Texans' turnaround as a franchise currently sitting at (5-4) and quickly ascending up the AFC South rankings where they rank second behind the Jacksonville Jaguars who have slid to (6-3) after being obliterated by the San Francisco 49ers 34-3 last Sunday.
The Texans have more wins already halfway through the season (5) than they have had all of the last three seasons! Posting records of (4-12), (4-13), and (3-13) across those seasons.
Stroud has come in right away asserting himself as a leader of the team with his performance on the field but also with the way he carries himself on and off the field as a composed 22-year-old.
The Texans will play against Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals at home on Sunday at 1 P.M. ET.
What also makes one an MVP is do you have signature moments in big games that stand out to the media and make them go “What did we just see?”
Stroud has done that throughout the season but even more so the last two weeks against the Buccaneers in an epic comeback win with a go-ahead touchdown and had another miracle big drive against Burrow’s Bengals who have found their mojo as of late.
He currently sits 7th according to Fox Sports to take home the MVP at +2000 odds.
If Stroud continues his momentum and helps the team win the division… He can very well find himself hoisting the MVP trophy at the end of the season.