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 has a lot of hard work ahead

After an offseason of expectation and which Sam Howell visibly grew in confidence, everyone associated with the Washington Commanders came back down to earth on Sunday. The blowout didn't arrive and from the quarterback's perspective, there is a lot of hard work ahead.

There were flashes of the dynamic traits that gave Howell the keys to the kingdom this offseason. But Eric Bieniemy and Tavita Pritchard need to iron out some serious kinks before things get tougher on the schedule over the next few weeks.

Howell held onto the football for too long on occasions, demonstrated some hesitancy on sideline throws, and had difficulty going through his progressions - although the last point was primarily down the offensive line succumbing to pressure as the contest progressed.

This isn't the end of the world for Howell. Far from it, actually.

The entire experience was probably overwhelming despite Howell's calm on the outside demeanor. He eventually finished the game with a 61.29 percent completion rate for 202 yards, one touchdown, one interception, and a rushing score, which was solid if not spectacular with nerves as high as they'll be all season.

There isn't much time for Howell to make adjustments. The Commanders have a tough-looking slate over the next few games, so examining the film and getting mechanics spot on in readiness for next weekend at the Denver Broncos is the primary objective.

Could things have gone better for Howell? Of course.

However, they got the win when push came to shove.


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