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Analyzing C.J. Stroud’s Comeback Win Against The Cincinnati Bengals

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By: Kenneth L.

Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

The fun train rolled through Cincinnati in Week 9 and we’re here to break it down

C.J. Stroud has done it again. Back-to-back game winning drives led by the rookie sensation have supercharged this Houston Texans franchise and put the rebuilding “process” into full playoff push.

The Texans relied heavily on Stroud this past Sunday as the Texans first battled back from a 7-0 deficit and then worked to regain control of the game after the Bengals furious comeback. Stroud’s budding connection with Noah Brown took center stage today as the veteran receiver accumulated 7 catches for a bonkers 172 yards. But it was Tank Dell who received the bulk of the targets with 14.

  • Touchdown credit: Stroud found Tank Dell in the flats on a unique pass route on first and goal, but it was Dell who’s effort and aggressiveness helped him find the endzone
  • Attacking linebackers: the straight line passes towards the middle right side of the field indicates passes thrown in the blind spot of zone defenses: between the linebackers and safeties
  • Clusters: short dump off to the left, 10-yards and out, and deep seam passes
  • Return of the sideline: as seen with Stroud’s early passing distribution where the sideline was a distinct part of the passing game
  • The pick: easily Stroud’s worst throw to date. He was going through the motions in a critical 3rd and 2. He didn’t have a chance to run the ball, but boy was this the worst option.

  • Average Intended Air Yards (IAY): 11.9 Yards (3rd)
  • Air Yards to The Sticks (AYTS): 4.0 Yards (2nd)

Analysis: Can it get any better? Texans are 5-4 with the hottest QB in football. Stroud’s command of the offense is uncanny. It’s not only his accuracy, but it’s the diversity of throws. His progress, maturity in the pocket, and every-now-and-then use of his feet combine to enable Stroud to do miraculous things. Stroud also can turn any WR into a stud. Some days it’s Tank Dell, some it’s Dalton Schultz, and last week it was Noah Brown. Stroud’s use of the entire arsenal of offensive weapons makes him lethal and impossible to stop. Defenses can’t hone in on a single player because at any one time there’s five equally likely possibilities. This game was a master class in experience. Rookies aren’t supposed to lead game winning drives with two timeouts. Let alone use both of those timeouts before the offense crosses the 50 yard line. Analyzing art can be both difficult and easy, but Stroud’s canvas has been easy to admire and easier to enjoy.

Originally posted on Battle Red Blog – All Posts

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