A setback or two or three will not keep C.J. Stroud from throwing the ball.
The rookie quarterback guided the Texans to their third straight victory on Sunday at NRG Stadium. Houston defeated the Cardinals, 21-16. Stroud completed six passes of 20 yards or longer, and two of those were touchdowns. He completed 27-of-37 passes for 336 yards, but was also picked off three times.
Sometimes, he explained, you'll miss a few, and compared the process to a legendary NBA sharpshooter.
"Man, Steph Curry don't ever stop shooting," Stroud said. "I'm going to keep letting it ride. And I've got no shame in my game. I've definitely got to be smarter. No confidence is taken away from me. I'm going to keep letting it fly."
That self-confidence is important, according to running back Devin Singletary. The veteran running back, who gained 112 yards on the ground Sunday, appreciated his quarterback's mindset after the interceptions.
"He was still locked in, still being himself," Singletary said. "That's big, because some people might (mentally) go in the tank."
Instead, Stroud WENT to Tank. After his first interception of the day, which came in the second quarter, the rookie found fellow rookie Tank Dell for a 40-yard touchdown pass just before the half ended. Stroud also hit tight end Dalton Schultz for a 20-yard scoring strike in the first quarter. Steven Sims and Nico Collins each pulled in passes of 20 yards or more as well, and when the day was done, eight different Texans had a reception.
"For C.J. we continue to highlight the good he's doing," Head Coach DeMeco Ryans said. "You're talking about a young guy who can move the football down the field. You're going to have miscues and bad plays but it's all about how you respond to those plays."
Stroud never appeared to waver. Two passes were intercepted in the red zone, and another was picked in the end zone. Despite those miscues, the rookie helped the Texans ring up 419 yards of total offense and average 6.3 yards per play.
"I thought we threw the ball really well," Stroud said. "I don't look at three plays and, like, dang, I had a bad game. Of course I can't turn the ball over that much. Threw for 300 yards again two touchdowns. I don't think I played terrible, but of course you can't turn the ball over."
Dell, who finished with a game-high eight catches for 149 yards, had the highest praise for Stroud, who's jersey number is 7. After they linked up for the 40-yard score, the home crowd started up an "M-V-P!" chant for Stroud. Dell agreed with the fans.
"Seven, he's the best player on the field every time he steps out there," Dell said. "He put the ball where it's supposed to be, and he does a great job at that. So it starts with him for sure."
Stroud and the Texans will host the Jaguars on Sunday at NRG Stadium, and the winner will have possession of first place in the AFC South.