C.J. Stroud's Saturday against the Browns was a wish.
It was unreal.
A performance so brilliant, by so young a quarterback is a rarity. So rare, in fact, that the 22-year old rookie became the youngest to ever start an NFL playoff game at quarterback and win.
After tossing three touchdown passes, completing 16-of-21 throws for 274 yards and a 157.2 passer rating, and guiding Houston to a 45-14 blowout win over Cleveland at NRG Stadium, his focus wasn't on his personal heroics, but rather, on the team win.
"This a dream come true, as how close we are as a team," Stroud said. "We're really, really close. Offense, defense, special teams, we're all in it together. Just to have another week to go out with my brothers is a blessing. I'm super excited for this team and the city of Houston, and I'm blessed to be in the position I'm in."
The signal-caller threw touchdowns for 76, 37 and 15 yards, and also spiced in completions that went for 38 and 27 yards. His ability to hit the deep strikes knocked the Cleveland defense back on its heels, time and time again, and helped Houston jump out to a 24-14 halftime advantage.
According to Texans Head Coach DeMeco Ryans, it was an "unbelievable performance by a rookie", and a further testament to how dangerous this Houston offense is and can be.
"Special young man, special player, continues to shine no matter how big the moment is," Ryans said. "Our whole team is leaning on him, and he has the shoulders to carry that weight, and he shows up week after week. He continues to improve week after week. No moment is too big for him. When you have a young player who can shoulder the load of your team and the way the team is behind him, the confidence that he gives our entire team, it's so cool to watch because he's such a special player."
The 76-yard score was a throw to tight end Brevin Jordan, who zoomed up the right sideline for the touchdown. Jordan, a Las Vegas native, relishes his connection with Stroud, who was born and raised in Rancho Cucamonga, California.
"He's a West Coast killer," Jordan joked. "I'm a West Coast guy. His demeanor, his poise, how he carries himself, how he goes about his business. Man. It's unbelievable. It's unmatched. And the dude is really, in my opinion, MVP of the NFL."
Stroud and the Texans are excited about whoever and wherever they play next.