What were some major observations from Washington Commanders quarterback Sam Howell's performance in Week 5 against the Chicago Bears?
After a sensational performance against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 4, quarterback Sam Howell got an opportunity to formally introduce himself on the national stage. The Washington Commanders welcomed the Chicago Bears in front of another sold-out crowd at FedEx Field on Thursday Night Football, which was seen as a get-right game for many versus a winless organization seemingly going nowhere fast.
Nothing is given in the NFL. Howell knows this better than anybody after biding his time last season and earning the respect of his teammates en route to securing the No. 1 quarterback spot throughout the preparation period.
All eyes were on Howell to see if the former fifth-round selection could build on a positive start to his campaign overall. As it turned out, the quarterback couldn't work miracles as another torrid start led to the Commanders falling to a shock reverse on home soil.
With this in mind, here are four major observations from Howell's performance against the Bears in Week 5.
Commanders defense put Sam Howell in a hole
This was not the start anybody had in mind after such a positive display in Week 4. The Washington Commanders' defense was absolutely torched in the first quarter, with Chicago Bears wide receiver and former Ron Rivera draft pick D.J. Moore doing the majority of damage as the home team got themselves in a hole early.
After two stalled drives, the Commanders and Sam Howell had a mountain to climb. Starting slow is nothing new for Washington on home soil, but it piled additional pressure on their young signal-caller to produce in the hope of getting them back into the contest.
Not exactly ideal. But the failings that have blighted this defense in 2023 to date came back to haunt them once again.