NFL Rookie QB tracker: Stroud makes history, Young struggles

ByKalan Hooks ESPN logo
Thursday, November 9, 2023

Rookie quarterbacks had some mixed results in Week 9 of the NFL season.

Bryce Young and the Carolina Panthers struggled this past week with the Indianapolis Colts' defense, while C.J. Stroud and the Houston Texans' showed they could maintain focus in clutch moments. Will Levis and the Tennessee Titans came up short against the Pittsburgh Steelers in a prime-time matchup. Tyson Bagent of the Chicago Bears and Tommy DeVito of the New York Giants had some rough games.

See how the league's newest signal-callers performed in Week 9:

Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers

2023 draft selection: Round 1, Pick 1

Game result: 27-13 loss vs. Indianapolis Colts

Stat line: 24-for-39, 173 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs, 48.3 QBR

Young displayed troubling signs early on against the Colts. His early problems only got worse when he threw an interception to Kenny Moore II for a 49-yard touchdown return at the end of the first half to give Indianapolis a 20-3 lead.

Young and the Panthers responded early in the second half with a 15-play, 77-yard drive that ended in a 5-yard touchdown pass to DJ Chark Jr. But Young was picked off again by Mooreon the following drive.

Up next: Young and the Panthers will line up against Bagent and the Bears on "Thursday Night Football" (8:15 ET, Prime Video).

C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans

2023 draft selection: Round 1, Pick 2

Game result: 39-37 win vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Stat line: 30-for-42, 470 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INTs, 147.8 QBR

There's no doubt that Stroud is for real. The Texans allowed the Bucs to march down the field and score the go-ahead touchdown with 46 seconds left. Starting on his own 25, Stroud engineered a scoring drive of his own, hitting Tank Dell for a 15-yard game-winning TD with six seconds left.

The 6-foot-3 signal-caller set a record for single-game passing yards by a rookie (470), and his 14 passing touchdowns with only one interception ties him with Patrick Mahomes for the most career passing touchdowns before his second interception.

Up next: Stroud and the Texans will faceJoe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengalson Sunday (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

Will Levis, Tennessee Titans

2023 draft selection: Round 2, Pick 33

Game result: 20-16 loss vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Stat line: 22-for-39, 262 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INTs, 66.4 QBR

The Steelers' defense went at the Titans with a mission to accomplish, and Levis had problems getting the ball out of his hand, resulting in four sacks.

With an opportunity to win the game with six seconds left, a Levis pass intended for Josh Whyle was intercepted by Kwon Alexander.

Up next: If Ryan Tannehill(right ankle sprain) is still out, Levis will start against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

Aidan O'Connell,Las Vegas Raiders

2023 draft selection: Round 4, Pick 135

Game result: 30-6 win vs.Giants

Stat line:16-for-25, 209 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs, 82.5 QBR

O'Connell had a great showing for the Raiders, leading Las Vegas to its first win under new head coach Antonio Pierce. Though he didn't pass for a touchdown, O'Connell held his own.

Up next: O'Connell and the Raiders have a "Sunday Night Football" matchup (8:30 ET, NBC) against the New York Jets.

Clayton Tune, Arizona Cardinals

2023 draft selection: Round 5, Pick 139

Game result: 27-0 loss vs. Cleveland Browns

Stat line: 11-for-20, 58 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs, 1.6 QBR

In his second game since the Cardinals' Week 7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Tune couldn't get his offense in tune.

The dial on the offense turned left after a Tune interception on the Cardinals' opening drive of the second quarter, which the Browns capitalized on to take a 10-0 lead.

Tune and the Cardinals failed to get a first down on their next four possessions, culminating in a sack/fumble that the Browns recovered midway through the third quarter. Cleveland scored three plays later to take a 20-0 lead that was never challenged.

Up next: Tune and the Cardinals will take on the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS)

Jaren Hall, Minnesota Vikings

2023 draft selection: Round 5, Pick 164

Game result: 31-28 win vs. Atlanta Falcons

Stat line: 5-for-6, 78 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs, 39.9 QBR

In his second action of the season, Hall got a nice rhythm going. Completing 87% of his passes and picking up 11 yards on two carries, Hall was off to a good start for the Vikings' offense.

That was until Hall scrambled and took a hard hit at the goal line late in the first quarter, forcing him to leave the game. He was placed in the concussion protocol.

Up next: If Hall recovers in time, he will join the Vikings as they take on the New Orleans Saints on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, Fox)

Tyson Bagent, Chicago Bears

2023 draft selection:undrafted free agent

Game result:24-17 loss vs. New Orleans Saints

Stat line: 18-for-30, 220 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs, 67.0 QBR

Bagent came out with something to prove against the Saints. On the Bears' opening drive, Bagent hitCole Kmetfor an 18-yard touchdown, giving them an early advantage.

However, on Chicago's next drive, Bagent tried to force a pass to Kmet, leading to a Saints interception. With a short field, New Orleans capitalized to tie it at 7.

Bagent and the Bears were under pressure for most of the second half, resulting in two interceptions and a fumble that would ultimately cost them.

Up next: Bagent and the Bears will take on Young and the Panthers on "Thursday Night Football" (8:15 ET, Prime Video).

Tommy DeVito, New York Giants

2023 draft selection: undrafted free agent

Game result: 30-6 loss vs. Las Vegas Raiders

Stat line: 15-for-20, 175 yards, 1 TDs, 2 INTs, 3.6 QBR

The Giants' offense had a tough time dealing with the Raiders, and it showed early. After starting quarterback Daniel Jones left with a knee injury early in the second quarter, DeVito came in facing a daunting third-and-27, and despite completing an 11-yard pass to Daniel Bellinger, the Giants were forced to punt.

Things only got worse from there, as DeVito threw interceptions on two of the Giants' next three drives, as the Raiders built a 24-0 lead at the half.

One positive note: DeVito threw his first career touchdown to Wan'Dale Robinsonearly in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't enough to stem the tide.

Up next: DeVito and the Giants will take on the Dallas Cowboyson Sunday (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox).

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