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
4 of 5

Commanders at Eagles - Week 4

  • 70.73% completion
  • 290 passing yards
  • 1 touchdown
  • 0 interceptions
  • 40 rushing yards
  • 5 sacks against
  • 69.1 QBR
  • 98.6 passer rating

All eyes were on Sam Howell at Lincoln Financial Field - one of the most intimidating environments anywhere in the league. Not many gave the Washington Commanders hope of getting one over on their NFC East rivals, but fewer expectations and the quarterback's surprising resolve had a hugely positive impact.

Howell came out with renewed purpose behind a more balanced offensive scheme implemented by Eric Bieniemy. The former Tar Heel looked accomplished in the pocket, improved the velocity on his throws, and more importantly, protected the football versus an outstanding Philadelphia Eagles defensive line.

Sure, Howell was sacked too much again. But he's learning to cope effectively and the last-drive heroics against all odds were another prime reason why there's so much hope surrounding the player through five weeks.

Washington eventually fell in overtime, which was disappointing. However, there were plenty of positives to take from the defeat against the defending NFC conference champions, and Howell's production was right at the top.

Performance Grade: A

Any fears about Howell following his disappointing outing against the Buffalo Bills were completely alleviated. If other areas had performed to a similar standard, the Commanders would have been well on course for an upset triumph.