Sam Howell had to fight for every yard
The Seattle Seahawks defense was giving up 232.1 passing yards per game on average heading into their game against the Washington Commanders. However, it was evident from early on that the secondary was in no mood to mess around.
Devon Witherspoon and Tariq Woollen seemed to have the Commanders' wide receivers locked up almost constantly. This made it incredibly difficult for them to create separation and forced Sam Howell to fight for every yard.
Even when he had an opportunity to load up and try a deep attempt, the offensive line couldn't hold up for long enough. Howell's best success came when he improvised from in and out of the pocket, but the Seahawks pressed tight at the line of scrimmage and had the physicality to knock the pass-catchers off their routes consistently.
Howell did an admirable job of moving the chains, but it seemed exhausting. With almost no help from the running game, Washington's momentum slowly started to turn in the third quarter.
Of course, Howell giving up costly fumble didn't help matters. The ex-Tar Heel was working for extra yardage when Witherspoon popped it out, which was almost a microcosm of how difficult things were for the quarterback versus a defense that came into the game with added purpose after getting thumped by the Baltimore Ravens in Week 9.
Howell rose to the challenge and matched them for effort. And this sort of never-back-down mentality is something that his teammates fed off throughout.