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'C.J's Phenomenal': Joe Mixon Gives High Praise To Offensive Rookie Of The Year

New Houston Texans running back Joe Mixon is excited to see C.J. Stroud prove his rookie season is just the beginning to a promising career.

New Houston Texans running back Joe Mixon got a front-row seat watching C.J. Stroud slice and dice up the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium in a 30-27 victory. 

Even he knew in the moment that Stroud, who played his college ball up the road at Ohio State in Columbis, was different. 

"C.J. is a phenomenal player. Obviously, he was the Rookie of the Year, and that ain't by no fluke," Mixon said during his first press conference as a member of the Texans. "I think that we have a great group of guys in this here locker room."

Indeed Stroud had a promising supporting cast at receiver while setting the Texans' rookie franchise record in passing yards. Third-year receiver Nico Collins became the third receiver in franchise history to finish with 1,200 receiving yards in a single season. 


Rookie Tank Dell totaled seven touchdowns, including the game-winning catch in Week 9's victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with three seconds remaining to go along with 709 receiving yards. Tight end Dalton Schultz, who inked a one-year deal after five seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, finished second in catches (59) and third and receiving yards (635). 

But the run game was lackluster. Houston finished 23rd on the ground, even after a second-half surge behind Devin Singletary. Mixon, who was traded to the AFC South champions for a seventh-round pick, plans to be the solution in taking pressure off Stroud playing hero ball. 

"We bought the city of Cincinnati, we got it back lit again, and I plan on bringing that same thing here," Mixon said. "[Texan] fans, I'm sure -- they got a taste of it last year, but I feel like with what we've got in the making, I think it's going to be a great thing. Like I said, I'm just excited to be here, feel wanted, and I just can't wait to make the most of my opportunity when my number is called."

Mixon is coming off another 1,000-yard campaign while averaging 4.3 yards per attempt. He scored nine touchdowns and posted 52 catches for 376 yards and three scores. At 27, Mixon also believes the best years are still ahead of him, even after seven seasons with the Bengals. 

In large part, it's because of Stroud, who led the NFL in led the NFL in touchdown-to-interception ratio (23:5) and passing yards per game (273.9). He was a Pro Bowler and the catalyst behind the first winning season at NRG Stadium since 2019. 

Mixon spent four seasons watching Joe Burrow transform from a breakout rookie to one of the league's top passers. He expects to see the same with Stroud during his tenure in Houston, especially after signing a three-year, $27 million extension

"With the quarterback we've got in C.J., like I said, he's phenomenal, and I know for a fact he's going to make that next jump, and that's in terms of them playoff wins," said Mixon. "But, obviously, we take them one game at a time."