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"The dude is unbelievable": C.J. Stroud returns, guides Texans to blowout win


C.J. Stroud came back on Sunday and brought so much to the Texans' 26-3 rolling of the Titans.

After missing the previous two weeks with a concussion, the rookie quarterback guided the Houston offense to scores on each of the first three possessions, and four of the first five.

10 different Texans caught a pass.

He completed 75 percent of his throws for 213 yards and a 102.7 passer rating.

Stroud also brought back a confidence. There was a moment in the huddle Sunday at NRG Stadium when tight ends Brevin Jordan and Dalton Schultz quickly reflected on how happy they were to have Stroud back in the fold.

"The dude is unbelievable," Jordan said. "Me and Dalton actually said it in the huddle. We were like, 'Man, isn't it amazing to have him back?' We just took a second to be like, 'Man, it's a different energy with him in the huddle for us."

Stroud was sacked once in Sunday's win, and he was hit just one other time by the Tennessee defense. Earlier this week the signal-caller described how seamless the return to the practice field felt, and Stroud echoed that today.

"I felt like I got back to my normal self kind of really fast," Stroud said. "Our O-line did a great job protecting me and ran really clean routes and executed at a high level. It felt great to be back. Definitely want to keep building from there."

For Texans Head Coach DeMeco Ryans, Stroud moved the offense along according to plan, and lifted the rest of the team in the process.

"He was efficient," Ryans said. "He made great decisions all day. He was calm. He was confident in the moment. Just the confidence factor, what he does to our entire team, he raises everyone's level of confidence because everyone knows the type of player he is."

Cornerback Desmond King, who led the Texans with eight tackles, explained how Stroud's presence and playmaking fueled the defense.

"A momentum-builder for sure," King said. "We know the capabilities C.J. has. We got him here for a reason, and we know that whatever he does, we're just going to back him up no matter what. We feed off each other's energy."

Stroud and the Texans head to Indianapolis for Week 18. A victory gets them into the postseason.

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