'We drafted the right guy': Texans QB C.J. Stroud makes history

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Houston Texans rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud made history during Sunday's 37-17 upset of the Jacksonville Jaguars after he went 20-for-30 for 280 yards and two touchdowns.

The outing made him the first quarterback in NFL history to have at least 900 passing yards, four pass touchdowns and zero interceptions in his first three career starts, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

Stroud's production doesn't surprise any of his teammates. Tight end Brevin Jordan, who caught a touchdown pass in the win, pinpointed the game that ultimately led the Texans to draft Stroud and called it a franchise-altering day.

"The best thing that happened to the Houston Texans' franchise was us beating the Indianapolis Colts last game, last year," Jordan told ESPN. "We drafted the right guy. Man, he's a leader. He's a phenomenal player and a phenomenal guy with God-given talent. Dude, he's unbelievable."

In Week 18 of the 2022 season, Houston defeated the Indianapolis Colts 32-31. That moved the franchise from the No. 1 overall pick slot in the 2023 draft to the No. 2 spot. The Chicago Bears earned the No. 1 pick and traded it to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for four draft picks and wide receiver DJ Moore. The Panthers subsequently drafted quarterback Bryce Young instead of Stroud.

On Sunday, Stroud also became the third quarterback to throw for at least 900 yards in his first three starts, joining Los Angeles Chargers QB Justin Herbert (931) and 2015 MVP Cam Newton (1,012).

"I have great guys around me," Stroud said. "Nothing I can do without those guys up front battling, the receiver running the right route at the right depth, [offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik] calling the right plays at the right time."

The production from Week 3 came after Stroud's historic Week 2 performance against the Colts when he threw for 384 yards, second most by a player age-21 or younger since the merger (1970), trailing only Matthew Stafford (422 yards) in 2009. It was the highest mark of any player in Week 2. Stroud also had the second-most passing yards by a Texans rookie in franchise history, behind only Deshaun Watson (402 yards) in 2017.

"Sky is the limit for C.J.," said DeMeco Ryans, who earned his first career win as a head coach Sunday. "He just keeps his head down and keeps working. C.J. is a very humble young man. Everything starts with the quarterback, and we have a good one who's doing really good things. He's improved every week. And that's what I like and admire about C.J. is he's dialed into improvement every week. He's not satisfied. He's been a leader for us as an offensive unit, and it's impressive to see a young man continue to get better each week and lead that group."