3 nightmare scenarios for the Washington Commanders in 2023

Sam Howell
Sam Howell / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders QB Sam Howell fluffs his lines

No matter what happens across other position groups, the Washington Commanders will go as far as Sam Howell takes them in 2023. Ron Rivera is betting his future job prospects on the former fifth-round pick providing much-needed assurance and improved production under center - a task that many have tried and failed to accomplish before he was given an opportunity.

Rivera's management and evaluation of quarterbacks have been in question throughout the entirety of his coaching career aside from those memorable moments with Cam Newton on the Carolina Panthers. If he gets it wrong with Howell, then expect Josh Harris' ownership group to begin seeking alternative coaches.

Howell has the support of teammates and Eric Bieniemy, which is encouraging. It's been an up-and-down OTAs for the one-time North Carolina standout, but that's to be expected given the magnitude of the transition in front of him.

Optimism remains that Howell can raise the offense to better heights under Bieniemy's expert guidance. But if the signal-caller fluffs his lines and cannot meet expectations, the shockwaves across the franchise are going to be substantial.

What comes next is down to Howell. The skill position players are in place and the scheme should play to his strengths, but much will also depend on the offensive line and whether it can provide the time needed against some outstanding defensive fronts on Washington's 2023 schedule.