Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud’s remarkable rookie season has added another feather to its cap, as he earns a Pro Bowl invitation in place of the Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes. This development comes after Mahomes’ ineligibility for the Pro Bowl due to the Chiefs’ Super Bowl participation, as confirmed after the AFC title game on Monday.
C.J. Stroud’s journey from being a star at Ohio State to leading the Texans to the playoffs for the first time since 2019 has been nothing short of historic. Although the Texans’ postseason run concluded with a disappointing 34-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on January 20, Stroud’s performance in the Wild Card round was stellar. In that game against the Cleveland Browns on January 13, he displayed his prowess by completing 16 of 21 passes for 274 yards and three touchdowns, securing a 45-14 victory. Notably, this made him the youngest quarterback in NFL history to win a playoff game.
As Stroud reflects on his rookie season, he highlights the significance of key moments, with a special emphasis on the win against the Indianapolis Colts at the end of the regular season. This victory secured the Texans’ spot in the playoffs, marking a memorable and defining moment for the team.
“So many highlights throughout the year,” Stroud told the Houston media when recapping his rookie season. “I think none [were more] special than the win at the end of the year vs. Indianapolis, when we were able to clinch our spot in the playoffs. That’s one that I’ll always remember, and it’s a significant moment for our team and where we were at the time, so a very special moment there.”
Stroud’s regular-season stats further underscore his impressive debut, finishing with 4,108 passing yards, 23 touchdowns, and five interceptions. He completed 63.9 percent of his passes, earning him recognition alongside NFL legends as the 13th rookie quarterback in history to receive a Pro Bowl invitation. Names like Joe Namath, Dan Marino, Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, and Dak Prescott also share this prestigious honor, according to Stat Muse.