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Texans QB C.J. Stroud says teams stopped treating him like a rookie after Week 3

C.J. Stroud moved from rookie to play-maker quickly in 2023.

Stroud played well in his first three career games of the season – which was enough tape to prove to opposing defenses that he wasn’t an average rookie quarterback. Stroud told “The Pivot Podcast” this week that the Texans’ big win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3 was the last time he was treated like a rookie.

“The rest of the season, I never go treated like a rookie quarterback,” Stroud said. “Because they just blitzed me, blitzed me, blitzed me and I would just pick it apart.”

Stroud showed off his arm strength and accuracy against the Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts in the first two weeks of the season with 626 total passing yards and two total touchdowns – but two losses. He torched the Jaguars defense in Week 3, though, with 280 passing yards and two touchdowns.

The offense scored 37 points as unit, capped off by rookie wide receiver Tank Dell’s 68-yard score.

The key to it all, as Stroud said, was he played efficiently before he’d take a big shot or a throw a risky pass. And it paid off as he set an NFL record for most passing attempts without an interception to start a career with 191. Stroud finished the season with just five interceptions and the lowest interception rate among quarterbacks.

Stroud shed the stereotypical rookie issues that’ve plagued first-year passers for years – and it’s why he’s made the Pro Bowl and is one of the finalist for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. He’s already gained the respect not only of his own locker room, but of opposing defenses as well for how Stroud played in 2023.

The only way for Stroud to go, now, is up.

 

Story originally appeared on Texans Wire