Last month, Houston Rockets second-year forward Jabari Smith Jr. drew the ire of many Houston sports fans, as he trolled the Houston Texans following a loss to his hometown Atlanta Falcons. For many, this was perceived as Smith rooting for the enemy and not being culturally aligned to the sports landscape in the city of Houston.
Even worse was the fact that Smith predicted a Texans loss beforehand and essentially rubbed it in after the Texans lost a heart-breaker in the waning seconds of the game. On Sunday, the Texans found themselves in a similar situation, as they allowed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to take a 37-33 lead with 46 seconds left in the contest.
However, rookie CJ Stround marched the squad down the field and led the unit to a 76-yard drive, which was capped off by a game-winning touchdown strike to fellow rookie receiver Tank Dell with six ticks left. Stroud was simply unstoppable, amassing 470 yards passing, which set a rookie record.
All told, Stroud went 30-of-42 with 470 yards, five touchdown strikes, and no interceptions. Stroud completed 71.4 percent of his passes and had a quarterback rating of 147.8.
Fred VanVleet shows Jabari Smith Jr. how to win the hearts of Houston sports fans
After the game, Rockets point guard Fred VanVleet displayed his support for the Texans (unlike Smith) and gave Stroud his flowers on Twitter (or whatever you want to call it).
The Texans, like the Rockets, have undergone a complete facelift, as they added a new coach, in addition to Stroud and fellow rookie edge rusher Will Anderson Jr.
Sunday's 39-37 victory puts the Texans in the playoff picture, as they currently rank second in the AFC South with a 4-4 record, behind only the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are 6-2. The Texans beat the Jags earlier in the season and face them again in week 12 at home, which figures to be a pivotal game.
It's safe to say that VanVleet will be watching and rooting for CJ Stroud. Jabari Smith Jr. should take notes.