C.J. Stroud finally threw the first interception of his young career. And in doing so, his NFL record for the most passing attempts without a pick ended at 192.
The good news for the rookie was that ... the Houston Texans immediately got the ball back in a game they eventually won, 20-13.
"It's life," Stroud said at the podium. "It's up and downs. My teammates were all like, 'Man, you got this. Let's go,' I looked and [coach] DeMeco [Ryan] was like, 'You've got it.' I could see it in his eyes that he cared on how I was going to respond. For me, that means a lot for them to have trust and faith in me. I'm a have trust and faith in myself, too. I know that he made a good play, and they weren't gonna get me again.
"Excited that we went down and scored. That was really big."
On second-and-8, Stroud wanted to hit tight end Dalton Schultz on an intermediate hook route. The No. 2-overall draft pick didn't see Zack Braun sitting underneath, and threw it directly to the New Orleans Saints linebacker.
— NFL (@NFL) October 15, 2023
Nico Collins trailed Braun and punched the ball out. Tytus Howard recovered the fumble, and it was first down for Houston again. Stroud made up for the blemish expeditiously, marching the Texans 24 yards down the field on six plays, and this time connected with Schultz for a 1-yard touchdown.
That score put the Texans up 7-0 midway through the first quarter. Stroud threw the ninth touchdown of his career a quarter later. He found Robert Woods for a 6-yard touchdown to give Houston a 10-point lead.
7️⃣ finds 2️⃣ to extend our lead 🤘 pic.twitter.com/0pqV5xmqpB
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) October 15, 2023
Stroud completed 13-of-27 passes for 197 yards, and the Texans have now won three of their last four games. Houston is now tied with the Indianapolis Colts for second place in the AFC South at 3-3.