Following the Houston Texans‘ 17-13 win in their preseason finale against the New Orleans Saints, coach DeMeco Ryans announced quarterback C.J. Stroud will be the Texans’ Week 1 starter against the Baltimore Ravens.
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The Texans were the last team in the NFL to name their starter, but Ryans’ reasoning to crown Stroud the starter stemmed from what he’s seen since he was drafted, along with his desire to improve.
“It’s been over the course of the entire process of OTAs, training camp preseason games, just seeing the complete product and knowing CJ’s desire to continue to better,” Ryans said following the win.
The No. 2 pick started each preseason game and went 11-of-18 for 89 yards with one touchdown and one interception in eight series.
Capturing the starting role for Stroud was the expected outcome as, in most instances, quarterbacks drafted in the top five commonly start Week 1 of their rookie season. Since the 2011 NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement, among the 17 quarterbacks selected in the top five, 11 started in Week 1.
Stroud entered training camp in a quarterback competition against Davis Mills as both split reps with the starting offense to begin training camp.
But after a week of practice, Stroud separated himself, and Ryans gave the rookie quarterback all the first-team reps.
The Texans ranked 31st in QBR (33.3) in the past two seasons and went 7-26-1. The struggles on the field led them to select Stroud, hoping he could become the franchise quarterback they’ve been searching for since trading former quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Stroud will debut against a Ravens team featuring the 2019 MVP in quarterback Lamar Jackson and a defense that finished third in scoring defense(18.5 per game) in 2022.