4 major observations from Sam Howell's performance at the Patriots in Week 9

How did QB1 fare against Bill Belichick?
Sam Howell
Sam Howell / Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports
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What were some major observations from Washington Commanders quarterback Sam Howell's performance against the New England Patriots?

According to a recent report from Dianna Russini of The Athletic, there is a growing belief within the Washington Commanders that Sam Howell is their franchise quarterback long-term. This didn't just come from the coaching staff - it's also supposedly a sentiment shared by Josh Harris and members of his ownership group.

High praise, indeed.

Howell's next challenge was a steep one. While the New England Patriots are struggling once again in 2023, head coach Bill Belichick is renowned for his defensive prowess and ability to neutralize the opposition's best threat, so the former fifth-round pick had some big-time hurdles to overcome on the road.

As it turned out, Howell and the Commanders did just enough to come away with a morale-boosting victory. One that could propel them to better fortunes over the second half of 2023.

With this in mind, here are four major observations from Howell's performance at Gillette Stadium in Week 9.

Sam Howell's scrambling

The growth in Sam Howell has been evident across multiple areas. None more so than when it comes to scrambling out of the pocket.

There was a time earlier in the campaign when Howell would just take off and run, which put his decent athleticism to good use if nothing else. Now, the signal-caller is keeping his eyes downfield and is always looking to throw if the right opportunity presents itself.

If it's not there, then Howell will run or throw it away. This might seem small, but it's contributing significantly to the former North Carolina star's improved efficiency, and long may it continue.

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