If you owned the Buffalo Bills defense in fantasy football on Sunday you were likely pretty happy. In Buffalo’s 37-3 win over the Washinington Commanders, the Bills had nine sacks, four interceptions, one forced fumble and recovery and one defensive touchdown.
Unfortunately, Washington quarterback Sam Howell was on the losing end of the Bills dominance. In his fourth NFL start, Howell was sacked nine times and hit 15 times.
There has been a debate on how many of those sacks were on Howell, and how many can be attributed to the offensive line. Regardless, Howell has shown a tendency to hold onto the ball for too long early in his NFL career. It’s a problem many young quarterbacks face. It’s how Howell responds that will determine his future.
After Buffalo’s win, several Bills defensive players talked about what they saw on film from Howell, noting his tendency to hold the ball for a bit too long.
One of those players, defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, spoke about Howell after the game.
“I mean, this is a young quarterback, you know?” Phillips said. “We gave him different looks, you know if he doesn’t see something, most of the time he’ll just hold the ball and he’ll run. He had a couple of scrambles today. It’s just growing pains, it happened to me in my first two games. It’s just growing pains.”
That’s a good perspective from someone on the other side. There was no bravado from Phillips in discussing his team’s success against Howell. He’s right. It’s easy to forget that this was Howell’s fourth NFL start and against one of the league’s top defenses.
“It’s just growing pains.” Something Washington fans should remember.