Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera learned last week that his team had been eliminated from playoff contention. He learned this week that his team may have a new quarterback for the 2023 season.

The Commanders came through with a 26-6 victory over the archrival Dallas Cowboys in their Week 18 season finale. Rivera employed Sam Howell under center against the Cowboys, and the fifth-round pick from North Carolina had a positive impact on the previously sluggish Washington offense. Howell completed 11 of 19 passes for 169 yards with 1 TD pass and he also ran for another score.

Rivera saw enough from Howell to say that he would be given a chance to show what he can do next season. He was asked if Howell would be the No. 1 or No. 2 quarterback. “Well, he’ll definitely be a QB,” Rivera said. “I won’t give you a number at this point.

“It is about the QB making plays they’re supposed to make, and every now and then when you need a big play, make a big play. That’s what we need to get to.”

Live and breathe the NFL?

🚨 Get viral NFL graphics, memes, rumors and trending news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch Newsletter.

The Commanders were eliminated from playoff contention in Week 17 when they dropped a 24-10 home decision to the Cleveland Browns. Carson Wentz started that game for the Commanders, and he threw 3 interceptions and that allowed the Browns to get the lead and build on it. Wentz was booed by Washington fans, and it was clear that he did not have the command of the offense.

The Commanders finished the season 8-8-1 and avoided a third straight losing season under Ron Rivera.