Sean Pendergast

C.J. Stroud Named AFC Offensive Player of the Week

C.J. Stroud took home the first of, hopefully, many Offensive Player of the Week awards.
C.J. Stroud took home the first of, hopefully, many Offensive Player of the Week awards. Photo by Eric Sauseda
There was a time, not all that long ago, where a Texans quarterback being named AFC Offensive Player of the Week was not all that rare. Deshaun Watson did it three times in a two month span back in 2019. We all know how that story ended, so let's make sure we savor each and every time one of our guys has a performance like this.

To that end, for the first time in his career, C.J. Stroud was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week, after shredding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense for 470 yards and five touchdown passes in a thrilling, last second 39-37 win at NRG Stadium on Sunday.

From the Texans' press release on this accomplishment:
In Week 9, Stroud completed 30-of-42 pass attempts (71.4 percent) for 470 yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions for a passer rating of 147.8. In the second half, the rookie signal caller completed 16-of-20 pass attempts for 325 yards, four touchdowns and a perfect passer rating of 158.3. With :46 seconds left and two timeouts, Stroud drove the team down the field, completing all five passes for 75 yards, including a 26-yard dart to WR Tank Dell that setup the ensuing 15-yard game-winning touchdown to Dell with just :06 seconds remaining to complete his first career fourth-quarter comeback and a Texans victory.

Let's dig into this honor a little bit deeper, shall we?

Which stats or factoids from Sunday's performance are the most fun to relive?
Well, there are the very elementary NFL stats that Stroud piled up, most notably his setting a new single-game passing mark for most passing yards (again, 470!) by a rookie in NFL history. In addition, his 147.8 passer rating was the highest single-game passer rating in NFL history by a rookie quarterback (minimum  30 pass attempts). My favorite one, though, was Stroud's becoming just the the sixth player in NFL history to record at least 450 passing yards and five touchdown passes with no interceptions in a game, an accomplishment that includes Hall of Famers like Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, and Y.A. Tittle.

Who's Stroud chasing in Texans "Player of the Week" history?
This is the first of what will hopefully be many of these awards for Stroud. The NFL gives out an offensive, defensive, and special teams award weekly for each conference. Right now, here is the stack ranking for most Player of the Week awards won by a Houston Texan:

J.J. Watt, 7 (Defensive)
Deshaun Watson, 5 (Offensive)
Matt Schaub, 4 (Offensive)
Arian Foster, 3 (Offensive)
Jacoby Jones, 3 (Special teams)
Andre Johnson, 2 (Offensive)

What are the latest odds for even bigger accolades?
Right now, Stroud is a prohibitive favorite to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. It's not even close. He is a -500 favorite to take home the award, meaning you have to risk $500 just to win $100. The next closest rookie on the board is the surprising wide receiver Puka Nacua for the Rams, who sits at +800 (risk $100 to win $800). Perhaps most notably, Bryce Young, the one player selected ahead of Stroud in the 2023 draft, is nowhere to be found on the odds board.

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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts the morning drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the pre-game and post game shows for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast