Top 5 NFL QBs with over 4000 passing yards in rookie season ft. C.J. Stroud

Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans
Top 5 NFL QBs with over 4000 passing yards in rookie season ft. C.J. Stroud

C.J. Stroud became the fifth quarterback to get 4,000 passing yards in his rookie season when he played for the Houston Texans against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 18 of the 2023 season. He sent out quite a statement with his very first play as it led to a 75-yard touchdown to Nico Collins. And he finished the day with a 23-19 win that booked a playoff spot for them.

He has definitely announced himself to the league and one wonders where he will have finished when he hangs up his cleats. For now, we look at the others in whose footsteps he is following. The achievements are given in reverse chronological order.

#5 - C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans, 2023

C.J. Stroud is the odds-on favorite to be the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. He had 264 yards in the final game of the season with two touchdowns and no interceptions. It was a mature performance in a high stakes environment where the Texans and the Colts both knew whoever lost was going home as the victors progressed to the postseason.

C.J. Stroud ended up with 4,108 yards in total. Even though this was a 17-game season, he played in only 15 of them, making a direct comparison with his predecessors possible. That equated to 273.9 yards per game. With 319 completions in 499 passing attempts, he had a healthy 63.9 percent completion rate.

He ended this season with 23 touchdowns and just five interceptions, allowing him a passer rating of 100.8. That is the highest among all the players in this list. It shows the maturity with which C.J. Stoud has played as he has taken exceptional care of the ball as a rookie.

Now, C.J. Stroud will be showing us what he can do in the postseason and we will be able to see if he can cement his reputation even further.

#4 - Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers, 2020

Justin Herbert was the last person before C.J. Stroud to end with 4,000 yards in his rookie season. He had 4,336 yards in just 15 games. That gave 289.1 yards per game. He also had 396 completions in 595 attempts for a 66.6 percent completion rate. He had 31 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions for a passer rating of 98.3.

In all these statistics, except the total yards, he was better than all of his predecessors. It shows how badly he has been managed with the Los Angeles Chargers as his ability is clear for all to see.

#3 - Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2015

Jameis Winston is currently a backup quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. But when he began his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015, it felt like they had got their next franchise quarterback. Though as we know, Tom Brady came in and got them a Super Bowl and cemented his legend forever.

In his rookie season, Winston had 4,042 yards in 16 games. He had 312 completions in 535 attempts for a completion rate of 58.3 percent. He had 252. 6 yards per game and contributed to 22 touchdowns. Where one could find an early indication of his future struggles was his 15 interceptions. He finished with a passer rating of 84.2.

#2 - Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts, 2012

When Andrew Luck came into the league, he was regarded as the best college prospect for a long time. So much so, that the Colts were comfortable letting Peyton Manning go to the Denver Broncos. And he delivered right away.

In 2012, he had 4,374 yards, the highest among all the players on this list. In 16 games, that equated to 273.4 yards per game. He had 23 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. He had 627 passing attempts and completed 339 of them for a completion percentage of 54.1. His passer rating was 76.5.

Andrew Luck could have been a Hall-of-Famer had things worked out well for him. But multiple injuries forced his hand into an early retirement and fans still wonder what could have been.

#1 - Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers, 2011

Cam Newton was the first quarterback to get to 4,000 yards in his rookie season. While he currently does not have a place in the league, he did win an MVP award and led the Carolina Panthers to a Super Bowl appearance. He showed his potential immediately during his rookie season.

He threw for 4,051 yards in 2011 in 310 completions from 517 passes. That gave him a completion rate of 60 percent and 253.2 yards per game in 16 matches. He had 21 touchdowns and 17 interceptions for an 84.5 passer rating.

It is also a marker of just how good Newton was earlier in his career. People often remember his mazy runs and his dual-threat ability, but he was a very good passer as well. Unfortunately, his production dipped as the years went on and it is hard to see him feature again.

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Edited by Rit Nanda
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