Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud’s NFL career will have many highlights, making it only the second time in as many seasons.
Stroud, who was picked up by the NFL Draft as the second pick from Ohio State, made an error on his first preseason series. Jalen Mills, the veteran Patriots safety, read him and completed his third-and-21 pass with a simple interception. Stoud will take note of this lesson since the safeties are more aware than they were in the Big Ten.
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Stroud’s passing game was so impressive that he completed 2 of 4 passes for 13 yards before being scratched after two series. The Texans, who had been starting him in the preseason opener, were hoping for a more favorable outcome. They certainly don’t want to repeat their quarterback rivalry.
The Texans gave Stroud an easy pass. He made his first play and had a short dropback, then scanned the field and hit Nico Collins for an 8-yard gain.
The second dropback was reminiscent of his rookie performance as Stroud held the ball for too long and was eventually sacked by defensive tackle Daniel Ekuale. On the next play, he showed athleticism and spun out of bounds, running 4-yards before scoring an interception with Mills’ intercept.
During the second series, Stroud made a pass while under pressure. He then caught fumbles and unloaded another pass for an incompletion. However, there was subsequently some roughing of the passer on that play. After that, it was short-handed again, and Stoud completed his run on third down just before the first down. Davis Mills drove back the ball for the Texas team.
The Texans’ camp began with head coach DeMeco Ryans declaring that there would be a complete quarterback competition between Stroud and Mills. However, it was difficult to take into account that most quarterbacks who were in the top two picks in last year’s NFL Draft start their campaigns early or at least almost immediately during the regular season.
Ryans’ decision to name Stroud as the Texans’ starter for the first preseason game was a promising move, considering that teams typically start highly drafted rookies and then switch them up with veteran players in subsequent games. However, Stoud was selected on Thursday and could start the regular-season opener.
The Texans have plenty of time to improve their quarterback for the regular-season opener and not be concerned about making a poor decision.