4 major observations from Sam Howell's performance vs. the Cardinals in Week 1

How did Sam Howell fare in his first game of the 2023 season?
Sam Howell
Sam Howell / Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
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Sam Howell's turnovers

There was always going to be a level of nervousness and extra adrenaline from Sam Howell in this one. He is a player with just one career start entering an emotionally charged atmosphere with increased expectations, so anyone expecting perfection was kidding themselves.

Howell is a gunslinger who takes a lot of risks. That's probably why Eric Bieniemy kept things simple early on, but the Washington Commanders were collectively guilty of too many turnovers during their opening contest of the campaign.

The former North Carolina star threw an interception, gave up a fumble that resulted in an Arizona Cardinals touchdown, and was also involved when Antonio Gibson got accredited with a fumble of his own. This was a significant blemish on Howell's overall performance and there were a few other times when his throws could have been taken away.

In fairness to Howell, he kept swinging for the fences. That's a testament to his character, but these rash decisions need brushing up in the coming months if he wants to become the team's long-term option under center.

Howell eventually finished the game with two turnovers in total. It's still early days, but this cannot continue for much longer given the pressure on Ron Rivera's shoulders in 2023.

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