Sam Howell was ruthless
If there was one thing that held the Washington Commanders back at football's most crucial position, it was a lack of killer instinct. Some were solid if not spectacular, but most just didn't have the credentials needed to get this team where they need to go.
Sam Howell looks different in that regard. His production on Monday night was exactly why head coach Ron Rivera's had so much faith in the second-year-pro despite having one career start under his belt, but he'll be the first to admit it's a team effort.
The conviction with which Howell distributed the football was nothing short of exemplary. He looked confident, got throws into tight windows, and made the most of red-zone opportunities when they arrived.
Howell finished the night with a 76 percent pass completion rate for 188 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions. He also carried the football three times for 17 rushing yards to further enhance his influence.
The longer Howell gets in the pocket, the better he is. That might ring true for almost any quarterback, but it's a stark reminder of how important the Commanders' offensive line is to their hopes for genuine progress on offense under Eric Bieniemy in 2023.
Having this sort of precision, ruthless efficiency. and poise coupled with the X-factor traits Howell brings to the table, it's not hard to see why there's so much excitement. Although it still represents a journey into the proverbial unknown for everyone involved.