Commanders QB Sam Howell's positives
It seemed as if the old Sam Howell had turned up to play in the first half. He looked assured in the face of high-class opposition. The quarterback made some jaw-dropping throws. He benefitted greatly from a more balanced approach schematically.
When the game began to get away from the Washington Commanders, that's when the problems surfaced. Howell was tasked with forcing the issue. This came with two more interceptions in quick succession to cast further doubt on his chances of becoming the team's starting signal-caller under the new regime.
This was a sentiment echoed by Ron Rivera. While he acknowledged no decision had been made about the starting quarterback in Week 18 - which is going to be his last at the helm according to multiple reports - the head coach highlighted how impressive Howell looked during the initial exchanges versus the San Francisco 49ers as a positive.
"Early on when things were balanced, it was one of those things that the situation gave him an opportunity and he performed. He really did. I thought he made some good decisions, threw some really good balls."- Ron Rivera via X/Twitter
At this point, there doesn't seem much point in Jacoby Brissett starting the final game, no matter how much Rivera wants to end on a high. The Commanders have too much at stake - the No. 2 overall pick to be precise. Howell deserves to see out the season after leaving everything on the line in difficult circumstances.