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
2 of 5

Commanders at Broncos - Week 2

  • 69.23% completion
  • 299 passing yards
  • 2 touchdowns
  • 0 interceptions
  • 4 sacks against
  • 59.6 QBR
  • 108.8 passer rating

This was Sam Howell's first competitive road start as an NFL starting quarterback. And to say he had a mountain to climb early on would be the biggest understatement imaginable.

The Washington Commanders weren't at the races for the first 20 minutes. They were lackluster in all three phases and it looked like the team had no answer for the Denver Broncos' game plan devised by head coach Sean Payton, who joined the franchise after spending one season as an analyst with FOX.

However, Howell didn't flinch in the face of adversity. The quarterback began to show life over the final stages of the first half and carried this forward after the break with the sort of throwing ability that made him one of college football's top prospects in 2020.

Howell's poise, ability to get the football out with supreme accuracy under pressure, and coming through on key downs were immensely pleasing. When scoring opportunities arrived, the signal-caller delivered.

Performance Grade: A

Not only this, but Howell once again displayed his clutch gene late to ensure a phenomenal comeback triumph for the Commanders. One that formally announced his arrival on the NFL stage and got people thinking differently about what this team might be capable of under his guidance.