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MVP…MVP: Stroud draws chants in AFC Wild Card Round victory


With time waning down in the third quarter and the Texans holding onto a 38-14 lead over the Browns, C.J. Stroud stepped to the line. 

A sold out NRG Stadium roared and the chants built with every second that ticked off the clock. 


"Legendary man, he deserves it," Texans receiver Nico Collins said. "He deserves everything for sure." 

As the fans came to life, fellow rookie Will Anderson Jr. heard the chants from the sideline as they grew louder and louder. 

Stroud in his first NFL Playoff appearance had pieced together an MVP-caliber performance going 16 for 21 for 274 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. 

"I understand the NFL is big on not handing the MVP to rookies but like you see what that dude just did to one of the best defenses in the NFL," Brevin Jordan said. "The dude is a beast. I don't understand why he's not in the conversation for MVP. 

"I honestly think he should be the frontrunner." 

Stroud produced a 157.2 passer rating in his performance, which is the highest in a game by a rookie in NFL history. 

"MVP man," Anderson said. "That's all I can say."

Anderson, the No. 3 overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft just behind Stroud, agreed with the chants and even admitted to joining in a little bit. 

"For him to be a rookie and to have the success that he's having right now and leading this team at such a young age. All the guys just wanting to play for him and him showing in and out every game of what he can do and his ability, he's a special young man. 

"He's a great teammate. I just can't say enough good things about C.J." 

The Texans now advance to the AFC Divisional Round with Stroud leading the way at QB1. 

"C.J. [Stroud] is the reason why we're in this position. He's special. Special young man, special player, continues to shine no matter how big the moment is." 

The remaining Super Wild Card Round games will determine whether the Texans play at home or on the road in the AFC Divisional Round. If the Texans are at home, tickets will go on sale at a later date.

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