4 major observations from Sam Howell's performance vs. the 49ers in Week 17

It's been quite a week for Sam Howell...

Sam Howell
Sam Howell / Greg Fiume/GettyImages
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Sam Howell's impressive first half

Things could have gone either way for Sam Howell over the opening exchanges. The San Francisco 49ers looked eager to put this game out of sight early, leaning heavily on their stout defensive front and running back Christian McCaffrey. After the Washington Commanders weathered the storm, they managed to slowly claw their way back into the contest.

Howell had a huge part in the team's resurgence. He was ably supported by a decent running game and more balanced play-calling. When the time came for the signal-caller to deliver the goods, he made big-time throws count.

His deep connection to Terry McLaurin was the undoubted highlight, as was his touchdown throw to the same player. This was more like the Howell we'd become accustomed to seeing earlier in the campaign. Something that was further reflected by his impressive first-half statistics.

  • 69.23 percent completion
  • 100 passing yards
  • 1 touchdown
  • 0 interceptions
  • 0 sacks against
  • 117.5 passer rating (ESPN)

This would have been a tremendous confidence boost for Howell after having it knocked significantly in recent days. The Commanders were only down three at the interval thanks in no small part to his poise under center. After how his last few starts unfolded, anything positive was a bonus in the face of a potential Super Bowl winner.