Betting odds aren’t the be-all, end-all to indicate how markets are trending. But make no mistake, anyone with eyes and an interest in football is noticing the strides that Houston Texans rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud has made. Stroud passed for 356 yards and a touchdown to help Houston knock off Cincinnati 30-27.
The Texans are now 5-4 and seem to be legitimate contenders for a Wild Card berth in the AFC. Houston already has wins over Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, two teams the Texans would likely be competing against for a playoff spot. Black sports news shows that Stroud has passed for 2,626 yards this season and 15 touchdown passes.
Stroud, who started the year as a 100 to 1 longshot to win MVP, is down to 25 to 1. Already considered a shoo-in for the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year, there is some chatter Stroud may win the Most Valuable Player as well. Only one other rookie in NFL history, Cleveland Browns great Jim Brown, has ever won the NFL’s MVP.
Houston thought highly enough of Stroud to draft him No. 2 overall in last spring’s draft. There was much debate about which of the quarterbacks chosen was the best. So far, Stroud is running away with the title of the best one so far.
San Francisco Reminds Everyone Who They Are
The 49ers looked about as meek as a team could look going into their bye week. San Francisco had lost three consecutive games and appeared to have some warning alarms blaring. But whatever way the 49ers refocused themselves during their time off seemed to do them good.
Quarterback Brock Purdy threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns as the 49ers battered Jacksonville on the road. Purdy wasn’t locked in on one target either. San Francisco had three different players catch touchdown passes. The Jaguars had been red-hot entering the game and saw their five-game losing streak come to an end.
Dobbs Continues to Keep Minnesota Afloat
Make no mistake, the Vikings acquired Josh Dobbs to try and keep their playoff hopes alive. While the veteran journeyman quarterback wasn’t on many people’s radars to start the season, recent sports updates show Dobbs has become a hot commodity. Dobbs played a big role in helping Minnesota improve to 5-4 with a win over New Orleans last weekend.
Dobbs passed for 268 yards and a score while also running for 44 yards and scoring on the ground. While Dobbs hasn’t faced tough competition during his time with the Vikings — leading Minnesota to wins over two hapless NFC South teams — he has breathed life back into their season. The Vikings lost their starting quarterback, Kirk Cousins, for the year due to a torn ACL.
Murray Gets Arizona Back on Track
Dobbs’ hot start to the season provided an opportunity for the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals found a way to get future draft picks. By trading Dobbs to Minnesota, Arizona opened up the path for future No. 1 draft pick Kyler Murray to return at quarterback.
Murray has struggled with injury issues over the past few seasons. He has also faced criticism due to his perceived lack of motivation to play the game. However, when Murray returned to the lineup against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, he looked ready to go.
Murray didn’t throw a touchdown pass but would lead the game-winning drive during a 25-23 win over the Falcons. Murray threw for 249 yards and ran for 33 more. Murray did score a rushing touchdown.
Raiders Have Renewed Life
The Las Vegas Raiders may not be a team that many people interested in up-to-date sports news would find to play a fun style of football. But the Raiders have rallied under interim coach Antonio Pierce to a team that may hang on to the fringes of playoff contention. Las Vegas won its second straight game under Pierce, winning a close 16-12 game with the New York Jets.
Rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell does just enough to keep the offense moving. Fortunately for the Raiders, they have outstanding running back Josh Jacobs to do the heavy lifting. Jacobs carried the ball 27 times for 116 yards in the win. While Las Vegas has a lot of work to do in order to steal a spot, sitting at 5-5 has the Raiders in a good position.
DeVito’s NFL Stay Will be a Short One
New York Giants rookie quarterback Tommy DeVito still lives with his parents in New Jersey. It is likely DeVito never thought he would be thrust into a starting role like he has been with the Giants this year due to injury issues. Devito, who played at Syracuse and Illinois in college, had a rough go of things during New York’s 49-17 loss Sunday afternoon.
DeVito did throw two touchdown passes but was largely inefficient against a strong Dallas pass rush. He finished with 86 passing yards and threw an interception. DeVito was sacked five times. In three appearances this season, DeVito has been sacked 13 times.
Browns Take Advantage of Baltimore’s Miscues
Cleveland was behind 17-3 after the first quarter Sunday in Baltimore, and things looked bleak. But the Browns have weathered the storm this season. Cleveland lost star running back Nick Chubb during the second week of the season and has seen Deshaun Watson go in and out of the starting lineup at quarterback.
But the Browns were able to rally by forcing Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson into timely turnovers. Cleveland also didn’t make many mistakes of its own. The Browns were 8-of-16 converting third downs. The Browns’ win tightened up the playoff race. Baltimore now has a half-game lead over Cleveland and Pittsburgh.
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