4 major observations from Sam Howell's performance vs. the Bears in Week 5

How did QB1 fare with the primetime lights glaring?

Sam Howell
Sam Howell / Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
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Sam Howell's up-tempo comfort

Given the deficit facing the Washington Commanders, they needed to put points on the board quickly. This led to an increase in tempo on offense, which quarterback Sam Howell looked pretty comfortable in all things considered.

The Chicago Bears opted for a bend-don't-break defensive scheme, which worked in Howell's favor. But his poise in the pocket, decision-making, and athleticism to evade pressure when it arrived were all reasons for encouragement after the break.

Huge gains were hard to come by versus a Chicago secondary that seemed happy to give up completions underneath holding such a big advantage. But that was fine with Howell, who got the required yards and kept things ticking over quickly.

This was especially evident during the drive to open the third quarter. Howell took them straight down the field before finding Logan Thomas in the end-zone, which is a testament to the North Carolina product's growing confidence in what was his sixth career NFL start.

Howell finds the holes through sound progressions effectively. He also made his red-zone opportunities count, which is exactly what the Commanders needed after such a lackluster first half that saw boos ring out from among the sold-out audience at FedEx Field.

Going so pass-heavy was a needs-must situation and is unlikely to happen again given Eric Bieniemy's preference for a more balanced attack. But the coaching staff can relax safe in the knowledge Howell can manipulate the defense with supreme efficiency if this scenario comes up again.