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C.J. Stroud, Will Anderson, Jr. take home rookie honors from PFWA


The postseason awards have begun rolling in for the Texans, with C.J. Stroud and Will Anderson, Jr. leading the charge.

Stroud was taken second overall in last year's NFL Draft, while Anderson was chosen a spot behind him at third after the Texans traded up with the Arizona Cardinals.

Stroud started 15 games for Houston and joined Joe Montana (1989) and Tom Brady (2007) as the only quarterbacks to ever lead the NFL in passing yards per game (273.9) and touchdowns-to-interceptions ratio (23/5) for the season. He helped guide the Texans to an AFC South-winning 10-7 regular season, and then tossed three touchdowns in a blowout win over Cleveland in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. Stroud finished the year with 4,108 passing yards and a passer rating of 100.8.

Anderson, meanwhile, played stellar at defensive end this season, setting a franchise rookie record with seven sacks, and also chipping in 22 quarterback hits and 10 tackles for loss.

Both were also selected as team captains before the season began, and each spoke highly of the other's chances at picking up hardware. For Anderson, it was a simple choice for Stroud to take home some honors.

"I have no doubt that he should be the offensive rookie of the year," Anderson said. "He came into an organization that wasn't good last year, as a rookie, changed the whole trajectory of this team. Captain as a rookie, When you watch C.J. play, you don't see a rookie on the field."

Texans Head Coach DeMeco Ryans agreed, and pointed to the consistent improvement Stroud made from the moment he stepped into the building to now.

"It's encouraging when you have a young guy who is able to grow, not only as the entire season [goes on], but to see him grow and take the coaching points and grow from week-to-week, and see a guy improve so quickly," Ryans said. "It's encouraging to see how much better he can get as he continues to play throughout the league. But, that's one thing I'm all about is growth, and the more we grow, the better we become, and the better are our chances of winning a ton of football games."

Stroud, meanwhile, is a big fan of Anderson's. The young quarterback pointed to Anderson's leadership on and off the field.

"He deserves it," Stroud said. "Look at how it looked the previous years here, and you can see what the difference of him being there on the field. Just turn the tape on: even times when he might not always make the play, he's one of the reasons why. He's going to set the edge, he's going to take on a double-team, he's going to make somebody miss, to set somebody else up free, so it's not always in the stats. He's really affecting the game in a lot of ways by just being a great player."

Stroud and Anderson are the first teammates to take home PFWA Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year honors...since wide receiver Garett Wilson and cornerback Sauce Gardner did so last year.

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