Commanders must simplify offensive playbook
Sam Howell isn't going to get anywhere playing hero ball at Lincoln Financial Field. The Washington Commanders need to take care of the football, take what the defense gives them, and hope the offensive line can withstand the obvious pressure coming from prolific performers such as Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Jordan Davis, and first-round selection Jalen Carter.
The Commanders need everything to go right. Going down early once again could lead to another hammering, so reining in Howell to a certain extent could be worth its weight in gold all things considered.
That's not to say the signal-caller cannot take shots downfield. But if play-caller Eric Bieniemy devises a scheme that gets the football out quickly and into the hands of his primary playmakers, the better Washington's chances will be.
Utilizing the highly successful screen game and establishing the run are easy wins for the Commanders if the protection is up to the required standard. That will make the Eagles wary of leaving the box too exposed and could open things up more as the game progresses.
Howell's decision-making has to be better, as well. If things aren't developing as anticipated, the former fifth-rounder must realize there's nothing wrong with throwing the ball away and living to fight another down.
If Bieniemy gets Howell into an early rhythm and simplifies the playbook, it could bring a positive response from the North Carolina product after such a dismal display in Week 3.