The Washington Commanders are 4-9 heading into their bye in Week 14. Things haven’t gone great since new owner Josh Harris and his group took control of the team in July. Defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio got fired, no one seems to like offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, and it seems like head coach Ron Rivera will be out as well after the final four games conclude. However, there is a bright spot amid all this turmoil in first-time Commanders starting quarterback Sam Howell.
“Quarterback Sam Howell, a fifth-round draft choice in 2022, was handed the ball with 19 career passing attempts entering 2023. Despite his inexperience and low draft position, Rivera and the staff loved Howell's poise, had confidence in his decision-making and believed they could win with him. That thinking has largely proven to be well founded,” ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and John Keim reported for the website. “Despite being in danger of breaking the NFL single-season record of 76 sacks — he has been dropped 58 times — Howell is second in the league in passing yards (3,466) and has accounted for 21 touchdowns (18 passing, 3 rushing) on the year.”
With a solid season under tough conditions, Howell has earned “effusive” praise from inside the Commanders building and, “at minimum, placed himself in the conversation to be the starter in 2024, possibly longer.”
Obviously, with four more 2023 games, a new coach likely coming in, and a QB-heavy 2024 NFL Draft where the Commanders currently own the No. 4 overall pick, a lot could change between now and Week 1 of next season for the quarterback.
However, what Sam Howell has done so far is impressive under the circumstances, and it seems like he could be a real player in the league if the Commanders don’t mess things up.