In the 2023 NFL Draft, the quarterback spotlight was on CJ Stroud and Bryce Young, with Young securing the QB1 spot as the first overall pick for the Carolina Panthers. Stroud was later chosen by the Tennessee Texans one pick later. However, the scenario changed as the Texans rookie propelled his team into the playoffs, while Young faced a challenging rookie season, concluding with a 2-15 record.
Stroud’s rookie quest for the Lombardi Trophy faced an obstacle in front of Lamar Jackson-led Baltimore Ravens. Amid this setback, the Ravens’ starting quarterback expressed remarkable positivity towards Stroud.
Lamar Jackson’s post-game message for CJ Stroud goes viral
Despite the Texans falling short of their Lombardi Trophy aspirations, CJ Stroud found solace in the encouraging words of the Ravens’ veteran quarterback. Jackson approached Stroud immediately after the game to make him remember that this setback was just a steppingstone in his promising career.
“Go win it all. It’s just the beginning for you. You’re gonna be there. You hear me? They’re waiting on you. Keep balling, bro,” Jackson said.
Apart from the encouraging words, Jackson also expressed a desire for a jersey exchange with Stroud, symbolizing a bond of brotherhood beyond the competitive field.
In the game, Jackson showcased his dual-threat prowess, drawing praise from Maryland’s governor. He completed 16 of 22 passes for 152 yards, delivering two touchdowns without any interceptions. Moreover, his ground game proved formidable with 11 carries for 100 yards and two additional touchdowns, placing him among the elite few to achieve such a feat in a playoff game.
On the flip side, Stroud faced challenges against Jackson and the Ravens’ defense. His stat line for the day included completing 19 of 33 passes for 175 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions.
CJ Stroud’s remarkable rookie year
Throughout his spectacular debut season, CJ Stroud showcased his brilliance at the helm of the Texans. The 22-year-old quarterback’s impressive stats included 4,108 passing yards, 23 touchdowns, and a mere five interceptions in 15 games, guiding the Texans to a commendable 10-7 finish.
Stroud’s performance went beyond breaking rookie records as he led the league in pass yards per game (273.9) and boasted an outstanding touchdown-to-interception ratio of 4.6:1. This achievement placed him in elite company alongside legends Tom Brady and Joe Montana.
To secure a playoff berth, Stroud displayed his clutch abilities, amassing 264 passing yards and two touchdowns, coupled with 20 rushing yards on three carries, against the Indianapolis Colts. His standout performance drew praise from college icon Marvin Harrison Jr., sparking discussions about Stroud’s potential to surpass even the illustrious Tom Brady in Super Bowl victories.
The remarkable rookie season has positioned Stroud as the frontrunner for Offensive Rookie of the Year, with FOX Sports assigning him -900 odds. This substantial lead places him ahead of second-place contender Puka Nacua, who carries +400 odds.
As Stroud basks in the accolades of a stellar rookie campaign, Lamar Jackson is gearing up to face the Kansas City Chiefs for the NFL Championship Game.