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

How did QB1 fare against Bill Belichick?
Sam Howell
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Sam Howell's first-half regret

Looking at Sam Howell's overall body of work in the first half, it was largely encouraging. The initial momentum shift didn't come by his hand, but there was one regrettable, ill-advised decision to ensure the Washington Commanders trailed at the interval.

With the Commanders looking to take the lead with a huge red-zone opportunity late, Howell had a mad moment and attempted to throw into the tightest of windows as three New England Patriots defenders surrounded wide receiver Jahan Dotson. This was inevitably intercepted by safety Kyle Dugger and another example where the promising signal-caller got a little greedy.

Besides this error in judgment, it wasn't too bad from a statistical standpoint. And these numbers would have looked a lot better had Howell not been let down by some critical drops.

  • 67.85 percent completion (19/28)
  • 176 passing yards
  • 0 touchdowns
  • 1 interception
  • 1 sack against
  • 27 rushing yards
  • 69.9 passer rating (ESPN)

The Commanders are taking the rough with the smooth with Howell as part of his ongoing development. Some mistakes will happen, even if they might end up costing the team in fine-margin situations.

That's life with an inexperienced quarterback learning by doing. But aside from his giveaway, Howell's poise and decision-making over the opening two quarters was commendable.

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