C.J. Stroud's memorable rookie season went to another level in November, and the NFL has rewarded him for it.
On Thursday, Stroud was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month and the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for November. The Houston Texans quarterback helped his team to a 3-1 record while putting up 1,466 passing yards, 10 touchdowns and a 68.8 completion percentage in four games. No other signal-caller led their team to more wins in November than the 22-year-old Ohio State product.
What makes Stroud's double honors for November special is that 1) he's only the second rookie quarterback to win AFC Offensive Player of the Month (Deshaun Watson, October 2017) and 2) he is now only the fifth player ever to earn both awards in a single month, joining Barry Sanders (1989), Edgerrin James (1999), Mike Anderson (2000), Kareem Hunt (2017) and Watson (2017).
Stroud began November with a 470-yard, five-touchdown win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and recorded at least 300 passing yards in his next three games for the Texans. That performance against the Buccaneers broke the NFL single-game record for most passing yards by a rookie. It also ended with a game-winning throw to Tank Dell with under 10 seconds to play.
A week later, Stroud led a 75-yard drive to help set up Matt Ammendola's winning field goal over the Cincinnati Bengals. The performance made the Texans QB the first NFL rookie in 40 years to lead game-winning drives with under two minutes in regulation in back-to-back weeks.
“The thing about C.J. is just the calmness in the chaos,” said Texans coach DeMeco Ryans after the win over Cincinnati. “He doesn’t waver. He’s confident he’s going to make plays.”
The 6-5 Texans still have hopes for the playoffs, and Stroud's play has been a big factor in that. They sit tied for second in the AFC South, two games behind the 8-3 Jacksonville Jaguars and they face the Denver Broncos, New York Jets, Tennessee Titans (twice), Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts to finish the regular season.