Former Ohio State quarterback and second overall pick in this year's draft, C.J. Stroud, continued to display why he is the most exciting rookie in the NFL. Stroud got the upper hand on Joe Burrow and ended a four-game win streak by Cincinnati on Sunday, defeating the Bengals 30-27 in the Jungle.
The 22-year-old threw for an astonishing 356 yards and led a game-winning drive in the final 93 seconds, setting up kicker Matt Ammendola for a game-ending field goal that he drilled as time expired. Ammendola had just been acquired on Tuesday following former kicker Ka'imi Fairborn's thigh injury a week prior.
Jamar Chase contributed 5 catches for 124 yards and a touchdown and Joe Burrow completed 27-40 passes for 347 yards and 2 touchdowns. With his two costly interceptions and what could have been a game-winning Score that Tyler Boyd badly missed The Bengals dropped to (5-4). They will have to head to Baltimore on a short week to play Thursday night against a Division rival and hungry Ravens (7-3) team coming off a loss to Clevland.
Stroud guided another game-winning drive in the last minute for the second straight week for the Texans (5-4), who defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the week previously. The rookie finished that game with a brilliant 75-yard touchdown march, commanding Houston down the field within the final 40 seconds. Oh, by the way, C.J. also broke a rookie-record in this game with 470 yards passing and 5 touchdowns in the 39-37 victory over the Buccs.
I believe it safe to say Stroud is the clear and obvious front-runner to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year after the first ten weeks. At this point, I would be astounded to even observe someone challenging him for the award. With 15 touchdown passes and just 2 interceptions, the Texans rookie leads the NFL with 291.8 passing yards per game. If this continues, he is on pace to set and shatter multiple rookie records by the time the season comes to an end. Houston has never had a player win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
With the MVP race quickly starting to ignite, Stroud's name has consistently been mentioned in the conversation. In fact, former NFL quarterback and ESPN's Dan Orlovsky stated that he believes the Texans rookie should be leading the race to be named the league's Most Valuable Player. The last time a rookie was named league MVP was in 1957 when Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown led the league in rushing and scored nine touchdowns. Houston has also never had a player win the MVP award.
As a lifelong Ohioian, most of my friends and family love the Bengals or the Browns. I love Philly, but yet even with Stroud's win over Cincy I still see most Bengals fans are proud of his accomplishments thus far. No matter who our NFL teams are, the majority of us love the Buckeyes and Stroud will be forever indebted to us OSU fans for the great memories and performances he gave us game after game. So, therefore we are gratified for this young man's success so far and excited for what has yet to come.