Grading Commanders quarterback Sam Howell's first five games in 2023

How is QB1 getting on to start the season?

Sam Howell
Sam Howell / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
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How has Washington Commanders quarterback Sam Howell fared over the first five games of the 2023 campaign with his team sitting at 2-3?

After accepting the challenge and growing in stature throughout the offseason, confidence grew around Sam Howell heading into his first season as Washington Commanders starting quarterback. This was a gamble from head coach Ron Rivera with new ownership watching on intently, especially considering he was a fifth-round selection with just one career start under his belt.

The Commanders might not be setting the world alight in terms of results, but Howell is catching the eye more often than not. There is a long way to go and it's not perfect by any stretch, but there's been far more good than bad where the North Carolina product is concerned.

Howell's focused more on the team, who have failed to get over the line over the last fortnight and were humbled in no uncertain terms at home to the Chicago Bears with the entire NFL community taking a keen interest. However, there's been a lot to like, and hopefully, this is a trend that can continue long into the future.

With this in mind, we took a close look and graded Howell's opening five games of the 2023 campaign.

Commanders vs. Cardinals - Week 1

  • 61.29% completion
  • 202 passing yards
  • 1 touchdown
  • 1 interception
  • 6 sacks against
  • 36.2 QBR
  • 77.6 passer rating

This was seen as the perfect game for the Washington Commanders to get their season off to a flier. They struggled early on, but Sam Howell managed to produce the good when it mattered most to ensure they escaped from FedEx Field with an opening-day triumph.

Howell was obviously nervous right out of the gate, which wasn't entirely unexpected. The offensive line was an abomination in front of him, but the signal-caller dusted himself off after the half-time interval to drag his team over the finish line behind a defense that looked primed for great things in 2023.

Performance Grade: B

This was a solid start from Howell, but no more than that. However, it did prove that the gunslinger had what it takes to come through in the clutch when his team needed him.