These 2 Young NFL Quarterbacks Are Soaring on the Football Field While Bringing Glory to God
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ABOVE: Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joshua Dobbs (left/AP Photo/Abbie Parr) and Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (right/AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Houston Texans rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud and Vikings quarterback Josh Dobbs are making NFL history this football season. And while the whirlwind of success has put them in the spotlight, the pair often deflect the recognition and say the "glory belongs to God."
Dobbs, 28, was recently traded to the Vikings from the Arizona Cardinals after the team lost Kirk Cousins to a torn Achilles tendon in October. Dobbs was then thrust into the starting lineup after Cousins' replacement quarterback Jaren Hall suffered a concussion.
Dobbs' gift for attention to detail has played well for him on the field.
In Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints, Dobbs orchestrated a 27-19 home victory.
Dobbs completed 23 of his 34 passes for 268 yards while also adding 44 yards on the ground. He became the first player in NFL history to amass 400 passing yards, 100 rushing yards, and no interceptions in his first two games with a team, according to ESPN.
"Josh in two starts has shown us what mobility, in addition to what we do offensively, can do for us in this tough time where we're trying to overcome the loss of Kirk," coach Kevin O'Connell said.
"I thought it was a pretty outstanding day from Josh and the best thing about it is we're all still getting to know each other and getting a comfort level where we can continue to apply layers to this thing to try to be as successful as we can be on offense," he continued.
Dobbs' stunning debut is impressing Vikings' fans, but Dobbs says he is just living in the moment.
"I'm taking it in stride," he said. "What I like to say is I'm exactly where my feet are. I'm not thinking too far ahead. I'm not thinking in the past. I'm right here taking it all in."
Dobbs, who lists the Bible verse Joshua 1:9 in his X bio, spoke at Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis on Feb. 1, 2020, and shared his story of football and faith, Sports Spectrum reported.
"I truly learned what it meant to be a Christian — what it meant to have my faith as a priority — when I got to college," he said. "… If church is going to be a priority, if faith is a priority, I have to make it a priority. I have to go get involved in a church. I have to go be present, be willing, be involved."
Dobbs shared in a 2018 interview with the Jackson Sun that his focus, no matter his success, will remain on God.
"The day will come that I won't be a part of any football team," he said. "But the decision I made during my sophomore year in high school — to be a part of Team Jesus — I'll be a part of that team for the rest of my life, and for all eternity."
C.J. Stroud Stuns in Rookie Season
Meanwhile, Houston Texans rookie C.J. Stroud is also exceeding expectations on the field after completing 30 of his 42 passes for an NFL-rookie-record 470 yards and five touchdowns, with no interceptions in a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, Nov. 5.
Stroud led his team to victory and during a post-game interview was not shy about pointing out that God made a way for the team when they were down and almost out.
"First and foremost," Stroud began, "I gotta give all glory and praise to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. … When you give your life to the Lord, He gives you opportunities and it's what you do with it."
“First and foremost, I got to give all glory and praise to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”— Sports Spectrum (@Sports_Spectrum) November 5, 2023
Texans QB @CJ7STROUD had a all-time game on Sunday and afterwards, deflects the glory and gives all praise to God. pic.twitter.com/VMtnX9AWFx
"It's a blessing," he responded when asked about his rookie-record 470 yards passing. "… I do it for the glory of God."
In the post-game conference, the 22-year-old did not hesitate to point out that he worships God in the good and the bad.
"First and foremost, I just want to give all glory to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ," he said after a recent game.
He then recounted a story from Houston's chapel service, where he was reminded that God is worthy of worship even when things aren't going well," Stroud continued. "[That worship] is the true testament to faith. For me, that's what I rely on. I couldn't be up here — I couldn't do anything on that field — without my Lord and Savior. He's given me a sense of peace even when everything around me is going crazy."
Stroud says he has held on to God and prayer in hard times.
In 2015, his father, a former pastor, was arrested when Stroud was just 13 years old. His dad is now serving a 38-year prison sentence on charges of carjacking, kidnapping, robbery, and misdemeanor sexual battery stemming from a drug-related incident, Sports Illustrated reported.
Without the support of his father, Stroud, his mother, and his siblings struggled financially, even becoming homeless at one point.
But through the challenges, Stroud remained resilient and excelled on the football field.
Last year, he became the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL draft.
"A lot of people don't get to live the life I do," Stroud said in a press conference after losing to the Colts in Week 2. "It's hard, don't get me wrong. It's hard, but it's a privilege, man. I'm blessed enough to wake up every day — to walk, to talk, to smell, to interact with people, to play football. These are all things we take for granted from a day-to-day basis, but I try to do my best to thank God through all that because (of) His grace and His mercy.
"He laid His life on the cross for us. I really believe that. This is bigger than just ball, and if I have to use football for my purpose — to spread the Gospel and the life of Jesus Christ — then I'll do that. And I think that's what God wants."
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