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Texans' C.J. Stroud addresses MVP momentum: 'Just like they love me this week, they'll hate me the next'

Houston Texans rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud has become the talk of the NFL. This past week, he became the only rookie in the last 40 years to lead a game-winning drive starting in the final two minutes of regulation in back-to-back games, and is just the second rookie all-time to throw for 800 passing yards in a two-game span.

Stroud has already tied the rookie record for most games with 350 passing yards (three), and he could break it this week against the Arizona Cardinals. The Ohio State product is thankful for all the positive attention he has received over the past couple of weeks, but realizes he isn’t a finished product just yet.

“It’s cool to have people recognize some of the things that I’ve done or — as a team, we’ve done. I don’t think it’s just me, but it’s really cool to see,” Stroud said in his Wednesday press conference, per Pro Football Talk. “Especially the vets who will reach out or say something on Twitter, and I have people who text me stuff [and] things like that, so I really appreciate that. It doesn’t go unnoticed.

“But still, at the same time, I just want more. I want to do better. I want to be as complete as I can. This game is a process, and I know every week I have to bring it. And I know I’m not being treated as a rookie anymore, so people are bringing their ‘A-game’ because they want to knock me off or whatever they think. For me, I just really want to keep getting better and better and keep that chip on my shoulder and just keep grinding.”

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Stroud has all but wrapped up NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (-2000 odds over at Caesars Sportsbook), but now, there’s talk the rookie could be in the running for NFL MVP! Stroud is +2200 to win the top individual award in the NFL, which are currently the eighth-shortest odds. While Stroud is building momentum as a top quarterback in the NFL, he understands that it takes just one subpar outing for that positive attention to flip. 

“It’s been cool to be able to be in the [MVP] talk, but just like they love me this week, they’ll hate me the next,” Stroud said. “So, I don’t try to look at that stuff. I try to stay even-keeled and just stay on the straight and narrow, and just work really hard and make my teammates around me better.”

Stroud ranks first in the NFL in passing yards per game (291.8), is tied for ninth in passing touchdowns (15) and is sixth in quarterback rating (101.0). He also leads the NFL with 29 completions of 25-plus yards this season. It appears Houston has found something special in Stroud. Even if he doesn’t win MVP this year, he may be in the running for years to come. 

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