The Cleveland Browns walked into NRG Stadium on Saturday afternoon as a road favorite against the upstart Houston Texans, but when the sixty minutes were up, the Browns Dawg Pound had to tuck their collective tail between it's legs, because they were on the losing end of a 45-14 beatdown. On both sides of the ball, the Browns were outclassed by the Texans. Houston's defense recorded pick-sixes on Browns quarterback Joe Flacco on back to back drives in the 3rd quarter, opening the floodgates in a game that Houston was already on track to win. And they were on track to win because rookie quarterback CJ Stroud never once resembled a quarterback who was making his first postseason start.

“I think he was absolutely exceptional,” Browns star Myles Garrett shared after the game, per Mark Berman of FOX 26. “He got the ball to his playmakers and made the plays he needed to make. He didn't have to be superman. Everyone on that team was executing at a very high level, and he just kept the offense on track.”

CJ Stroud only had to throw the ball 21 times, a season low for the first-year QB, and on 16 completions he finished with 274 yards, three touchdowns, a nearly perfect passer rating, and a few “Good God! Look at the throw!” throws. Sometimes watching CJ Stroud throw a football evokes memories of watching Ken Griffey Jr. swing a baseball bat. There's an effortless beauty to it that's rare to see, especially from a rookie who most analysts expected would have some growing pains in his first NFL season.

As for Myles Garrett, the Texans held the 1st Team All-Pro edge rusher in check, preventing him from recording a single sack or hit on CJ Stroud… and that goes for the entire Browns defense. For just the second time all season, the Browns didn't record a single sack in the game. The clean pocket that he was able to work from was a big reason why the ‘exceptional' Stroud was able to carve the Browns D up with such surgical precision.