Damned If You Do; Damned If You Don’t Facing C.J. Stroud?

November 4th, 2023

Houston QB C.J. Stroud.

C.J. Stroud has to be one of the more surprising players in the NFL this year.

The Texans rookie signal-caller, Stroud first came from a storied college football program that has never produced a decent quarterback in the NFL. Quick, who’s the best quarterback from Ohio State? Justin Fields? Troy Smith? Art Schlichter?

So Stroud already had one foot in the bucket before he ever took a snap.

Stroud ought to be NFL Rookie of the Year. Because of his play, the Texans, thought to be a trash team under first-year coach DeMeco Ryans, are 3-4. Same as the Bucs.

The other thing is, Stroud thrives on blitzes. And guess who likes to blitz? Yup, Bucs coach Todd Bowles, as pointed out by DJ Bien-Aime of BSPN.

It’s worth keeping an eye on how Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles attacks Texans rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud on defense, because that could be the determining factor in who wins this game. Why? It’s a clash of two styles. The Buccaneers blitz on 39% of opposing quarterbacks’ dropbacks. But Stroud has a passer rating of 117.0 when blitzed, which ranks the fourth best.

Now after the Bucs lost to the Bills on Thursday Night Football, Buffalo went to a no-huddle and burned the Bucs defense badly as it took the Bucs out of several blitzes and sub packages.

Stroud ran a no-huddle a lot in college when he lit up opponents. So it would not shock Joe one bit if Houston went no-huddle, not that they would need to (see above excerpt).

Generally, Bowles does well against rookie quarterbacks, with a 6-3 record. However, last year that dominance took a hit.

The Bucs got burned by Kenny Pickett in October and two months later Brock Purdy carved up Bowles’ defense.

So the questions are, does Bowles’ defense bounce back from a two-game losing streak against rookies or does Stroud’s strong rookie season continue?

21 Responses to “Damned If You Do; Damned If You Don’t Facing C.J. Stroud?”

  1. Leopold Stotch Says:

    We’re doomed

  2. Crickett Baker Says:

    You mean damned. 😉

  3. teacherman777 Says:

    MJ Stewart is still in the NFL.

    He plays for the Texans. He was given a 2 year extension this past off-season.

    He was not a bust by Licht in the end.

    He is a safety now.

    I always wanted to convert him to a backup “money backer”

    I thought he would make a solid 3rd down MLB in coverage.

    He was also a starter for the Browns before signing with the Texans.

    M.J. has played a lot of football in the league,” former safeties coach Joe Danna said on Dec. 8, 2022. “Anytime you take one of your best special teams players, you’re seeing them make plays in those areas, special teams and defense, lot of correlation there. Just felt like he was deserving to get out there and be able to play some snaps.”

  4. Max Says:

    If we lose this game vs the Texas we seriously have to go into full tank mode. Trask starts, etc.

  5. Lombardi Lenny Says:

    Im really looking forward to watching this game.

  6. CHRISTOS Says:

    If you blittz and the DBs are 10 yards off from the WRs then of course you are doomed. I dont understand the coverage some times, its like the DBs are afraid to get beat deep. Way to passive.
    Go Bucs

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    Looks to me like the Texans (3-4 … like the Bucs) are a relatively young team (like the Bucs) still learning how to win (like the Bucs). Their defense is tied for #6 with 128 Points Allowed (same as the Bucs), but their offense has been more productive than ours (148 points scored vs 121 points). Looks perfectly reasonable that they’d be slightly favored to win this game.

    But for some reason the Bucs seem to play better on the road (2-1) than we do at home (1-3). Our starters are fairly healthy, although several seem to be playing with lingering injuries (Vea, White among others). HOPEFULLY Todd Bowles makes some adjustments (?) for this game & we pull off a much-needed win. If what you’re doing isn’t gittin ‘er done, do something different.

  8. Voice of Truth Says:

    This is a season make or break game

    Win and get back to even, lose and OMG Todd’s seat will be on broil

    I think they call it a “must win”

    Todd is almost out of chances

  9. gotbbucs Says:

    @ Max

    If we lose this game then that means the current roster is doing a fine job of tanking. No need to put Trask in there. All he might do is score points.

    Putting Trask in at this point only admits a mistake in evaluation.

  10. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    If our DB’s continue to play 15 yards off opponents WR’s, on the snap, that tells me, we’ve already raised the white flag matey! Enjoy your day off!
    Besides, isn’t our record against rookie QB’s like 2-45?
    We always make those guys look like Tom Brady on a great day!
    What’s a poor buc fan to do?

  11. Buc4evr Says:

    Todd will invariably blitz, because that is all he has with our poor secondary coverage schemes. Problem is that we have no edge rushers. Coupled with pathetic offense that only scores garbage points after the game is lost, I don’t see a lot of positives.

    Look for Todd to continue to bang his head against the wall with stupid plays and questionable in game decisions. The guy is a hard headed and incompetent. Dangerous combination.

  12. Beej Says:

    Teams take what you give them. We’re BEGGING them to complete a 10 yard pass every single time, in return for no long completions

  13. Everything is just horrble! Says:

    Keys to the game defensively:
    1. Spy CJ
    2. Low blitzing
    3. Vea & Kancey have to collapse the line and CJ

  14. Everything is just horrble! Says:

    But if Neal is playing will lose again.

  15. garro Says:

    Is CJs agent one of your proud sponsors Joe? Geez!
    That’s a bit out there Joe.

    Go Bucs!

  16. Buc4evr Says:

    Sad part about this is that not only do the Bucs have a poor pass rush but the secondary plays soft coverage. So soft that at this point in the season they do not have one interception. Half way thru the season with no INTs. Total fail for a defensive guru.

  17. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Rookie QB and a team we should beat?

    Long time Buc fans know this recipe.

  18. orlbucfan Says:

    Kinda interesting to look at that play and see all the holding. Supposedly, Josh Allen, who I admire, doesn’t need it. Bucs really should have won. They got robbed but that’s nothing new. Hopefully, they will be ready to outwit the refs tomorrow cos they’re gonna need it. Go Bucs!

  19. captivajim Says:

    Geez,, without Logan Hall–we will have really difficult time containing Texans…

  20. Mike Johnson Says:

    Do or Die Bucs. We had better manufacture some defensive pressure from somewhere. If not, That kid Stroud is having a field day.

  21. Pewter Power Says:

    Not for the type of players we are the defense is average. All the blitzes are really hitting home but he still blitzes at a high rate and rarely uses man coverage even though that’s the type of corner he’d drafts