NFL rookie QB tracker: Stroud shines, Bagent debuts

ByESPN staff ESPN logo
Tuesday, October 17, 2023

As the NFL's midseason mark nears, rookie quarterbacks continued to make strides in Week 6.

Bryce Young and the Carolina Panthers are still looking for their first win, while C.J. Stroud and the Houston Texans bounced back from a Week 5 loss. Elsewhere, Chicago Bears undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent had his first taste of NFL action after Justin Fields exited with an injury. New England Patriots undrafted rookie Malik Cunningham also made his debut by recording six snaps against the Las Vegas Raiders,but he did not attempt a pass.

Here's how the NFL's freshest faces under center performed in Week 6:

Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers

2023 draft selection: Round 1, Pick 1

Game result: 42-21 loss vs. Miami Dolphins

Stat line: 23-for-38, 217 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 47.3 QBR

Carolina's offense started off strong by reaching the end zone on two of its first three drives. Young contributed to the team's early scoring efforts with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Adam Thielen that gave the Panthers a quick 14-0 lead over the Dolphins.

However, Miami responded by scoring 35 straight points, and Young was sacked four times. On a positive note, Young did not turn the ball over for the first time in his five starts.

Up next: Young and the Panthers have a bye week before returning home to face Stroud and the Houston Texans (1 p.m. ET, FOX).

C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans

2023 draft selection: Round 1, Pick 2

Game result: 20-13 win vs. New Orleans Saints

Stat line: 13-for-27, 199 yards, two TDs, 1 INT, 47.3 QBR

The Texans' offense started slowly as Stroud threw his first career interception to Zack Baun in the first quarter. Luckily, receiver Nico Collins forced Baun to fumble, and a recovery byTytus Howardallowed theTexans to regain possession.

Stroud's 191 passes without an interception to begin his career was the longest streak in NFL history, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He capped the next drive with a touchdown pass that gave the Texans a lead they never relinquished.

Up next: Stroud and the Texans will get a bye week before returning for a Week 8 showdown against Young and the Panthers on the road (1 p.m. ET, FOX).

Tyson Bagent, Chicago Bears

2023 draft selection:undrafted free agent

Game result: 19-13 loss vs.Minnesota Vikings

Stat line: 10-for-14, 83 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INTs, 16.0 QBR

Bagent entered the first game of his career in the third quarter and registered a 71.4% completion rate. He scored the Bears' sole touchdown of the game to cap a 77-yard drive in the fourth quarter.

Up next: As Fields recovers, Bagent will likely start against theLas Vegas Raidersat home on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, FOX).

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