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C.J. Stroud: Jaguars made the mistake of treating me like a rookie

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By: Adam Stites

When the Jacksonville Jaguars hosted the Houston Texans in Week 3, they were handed a surprising upset loss.

The 0-2 Texans, led by rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud, came to EverBank Stadium as 7.5-point underdogs, but left with a decisive 37-17 win. Stroud finished the game with 280 passing yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions.

According to Stroud, the performance happened because the Jaguars stubbornly refused to respect the 22-year-old quarterback’s ability to beat the blitz.

“I had so much respect for Jacksonville and I think they kind of came in like, ‘Oh, this is a rookie quarterback,’” Stroud said in an appearance on The Pivot podcast. “That was the last time that happened … the rest of the season I never got treated like a rookie quarterback.

“Because they would just blitz me, blitz me, blitz me, I would just pick it apart. They would blitz me and I’d just play the game against the DC. Like OK, you want to take this away, I’m just gonna be smart and take the check down.”

According to Pro Football Focus, Stroud was blitzed on 12 of his dropbacks in that Week 3 game and completed nine passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns on those plays.

While the Jaguars won the rematch, 24-21, it doesn’t seem like the team changed its defensive outlook, though. Jacksonville blitzed Stroud on 15 of his Week 12 dropbacks, per PFF, and he completed 10 passes for 137 yards.

The difference, it seems, is that pressure actually got home the second time around. After failing to sack Stroud once in Week 3, they got him four times in Week 12. PFF credited the Jaguars with pressuring Stroud on only nine of his dropbacks in the first meeting and 28 in the rematch.

Originally posted on Jaguars Wire