The Houston Texans have officially named rookie C.J. Stroud as the starting quarterback for the 2023-24 NFL season. Stroud was given the job after the final preseason game of the year on Sunday night, and it was another impressive performance for the rookie.
Houston was the last team in the NFL to officially announce a starting quarterback, and they made sure that they looked at everything. Stroud started all three games this preseason, going 11-of-18 through the air, but managed to rack up just 89 passing yards.
Davis Mills was the other option for the Texans, and he has been the starter over the last two seasons with the Texans. Houston has won just seven total games over the last two years, but head coach DeMeco Ryans believes that Stroud gives his team the best chance to be successful.
There is no doubt that Stroud is a much better player than Mills, but fans of the Texans should not expect anything to change right away. For as good as Stroud was in college, he is going to be in for a rude awakening at the professional level.
Tough Early Schedule
The first NFL start for C.J. Stroud will come on the road against the Baltimore Ravens, and that’s a tough way to begin a career. Houston is a 10-point underdog in that game, and you should expect to see Houston be underdogs for most games this year.
The Ravens are a team that will feature a tough defense, and they will be coming after Stroud throughout the matchup. There is a chance that things could improve for Stroud and Houston in Week 2 in what will be an interesting matchup.
The early lines have the Texans as one-point favorites in Week 2 as they are set to host Anthony Richardson and the Indianapolis Colts. This will be a battle of two rookie quarterbacks, but that will just add to the pressure put on Stroud to deliver.
In Week 3, the Texans are seven-point underdogs on the road at the Jacksonville Jaguars. This just feels like three straight losses to begin the year for Stroud and the Texans, and it’s going to have people questioning this decision right away.
Most NFL experts believe that Stroud will eventually become a great starting quarterback in this league, but playing in Houston isn’t going to provide him with much help.
A Look at Future Odds
Not only can you look at the odds for each game to try and predict how well Stroud will perform, but there are future odds available as well. Stroud is going to be a popular pick to win the Rookie of the Year Award, but that’s only because this tends to go to a quarterback.
The over/under for total passing touchdowns thrown by Stroud this season is set at just 17 ½, and that’s an extremely low number. That means that Stroud would just have to throw one touchdown each weekend to be right at the number.
Stroud currently has odds set at +850 to win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award, and there are just three players ahead of him. The other players above him all seem to be in better situations, though, and team success will impact how this award plays out.
If you want to bet on Stroud to win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award, then you should wait until he has made a few starts to get a better idea of how his season might go. The talent is there for Stroud, but trying to win games on your own in the NFL is nearly impossible to do.