4 burning questions as Commanders turn the page on Week 5 defeat

Looking forward is absolutely imperative...

Jack Del Rio and Ron Rivera
Jack Del Rio and Ron Rivera / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages
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Why is Commanders QB Sam Howell taking too many hits?

The up-and-down season from Sam Howell has shown some good and bad, but there are a lot of concerns. The Washington Commanders quarterback is projected to have 99 sacks during a 17-game span, and that would be the most in NFL history set by David Carr - 76 for the Houston Texans in 2002.

On Thursday night, he was sacked five more times. This brings the total to 29 so far, which leads the league.

Plus, Howell is also losing yardage from being sacked so many times. Randall Cunningham set the record in 1986 with 489 yards lost, but the former fifth-round selection is also on pace to eclipse that.

Howell is taking too many hits, which is another concern. If he doesn't break the record, perhaps he won't make it through the season.

Left Tackle Charles Leno Jr. is worried about the amount of hits that Howell is taking. A reporter asked the signal-caller after the game if he felt that the hits were taking a toll on him and it was clear that the North Carolina product didn't want to throw anyone under the bus.

The Commanders should know this is an issue that needs to be corrected. Undoubtedly, it's a combination of many things.

Washington's offensive line is bad - not only this year but also going back to last season. Howell has held on to the ball too much at times, which leads to taking unnecessary sacks, and play calling could be another issue that may have contributed to the sacks as well.

With nine days to put this right before Week 6's showdown in Atlanta, changes need to be made if this team wants to have any type of playoff chances.