C.J. Stroud earns Offensive ROY honors, Will Anderson Jr. wins Defensive ROY award

Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud was named the Offensive Rookie of the Year while Texans pass rusher Will Anderson Jr. earned Defensive Rookie of the Year honors at the NFL Honors ceremony Thursday in Las Vegas.

Stroud won the award over finalists Detroit Lions running back Jahmyr Gibbs, Lions tight end Sam LaPorta, Atlanta Falcons running back Bijan Robinson and Los Angeles Rams receiver Puka Nacua.

Anderson emerged from a group that included Philadelphia Eagles DT Jalen Carter, Pittsburgh Steelers CB Joey Porter Jr. Los Angeles Rams DT Kobie Turner and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Devon Witherspoon.

Stroud led the Texans to a 9-6 record and a playoff berth after being selected with the No. 2 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

He enjoyed one of the best rookie seasons ever passing for 4,108 yards, 23 touchdowns and just five interceptions in 15 starts.

Anderson finished his first season with 45 total tackles (29 solo, 16 assisted), seven sacks and one pass break-up.

With Stroud and Anderson winning OROY and DROY, it’s the fourth time two players from the same team won both awards, including the second year in a row (New York Jets’ Garrett Wilson and Sauce Gardner last year) and the third time in seven years (New Orleans Saints’ Alvin Kamara and Marshon Lattimore in 2017). Before that, it hadn’t happened since 1967.

Stroud wins two-man race

Any other season, Nacua would run away with the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. If you’re breaking records, you’re winning the award … except for this year.

Stroud was one of the league’s best quarterbacks in 2023. Not just the best rookie QBs, but one of the the best QBs overall. Stroud’s play wasn’t very up and down throughout his rookie season. He played well consistently starting as early as Week 2.

Here’s a look at Stroud’s numbers throughout the season using passer rating and Expected Points Added per dropback, via TruMedia:

Even as outstanding as Nacua played this season, Stroud produced at a very high level in his first year at arguably the most important position in sports. — Larry Holder, NFL senior writer

Required reading


(Photo: Patrick Smith / Getty Images)

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