4 major observations from Sam Howell's performance at the LA Rams in Week 15

How did QB1 fare in his first game after the bye week?

Sam Howell
Sam Howell / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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Sam Howell's early exit

More than a few eyebrows were raised when Sam Howell didn't come off the sideline onto the field with around eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. The Washington Commanders opted to take him out of the firing line in favor of Jacoby Brissett. This sent the rumor mill ablaze on social media with no incoming injury news in the development's immediate aftermath.

Whether this had something to do with offensive linemen Tyler Larsen and Charles Leno Jr. going down through injury is up for debate. It might have been down to Howell's indifferent performance level despite improving slightly in the third quarter.

Howell threw an interception immediately before the benching. That might have been the straw that broke the camel's back on this occasion for head coach Ron Rivera. What this means for the quarterback's status over their remaining games is the million-dollar question.

In fairness to Brissett, he made an immediate impact with a touchdown pass to Terry McLaurin. Will this lead to a quarterback controversy in Washington heading into Week 16 at the New York Jets? Unlikely, but nobody could say what Rivera is thinking with any great confidence.

Brissett arguably looked a lot more fluid than Howell under center. His connection with McLaurin was immediate and impressive in equal measure. It should make for an interesting week that's for sure.