Washington Commanders quarterback Sam Howell is a hot topic each week. Washington fans love to debate a quarterback’s future. If Howell performed well the week before, fans are ready to crown him. If he struggles, the other segment of the fan base is making images of Caleb Williams in a Commanders’ uniform.
What most fail to understand is that Howell has started 10 NFL games. There will be ups. There will be downs. Sometimes, that means a bad game; sometimes, that means a play that makes you ask yourself, “What the bleep was that?”
That’s every young quarterback.
The truth is, Howell can play. Is he Washington’s franchise quarterback? He has certainly earned the right to be in that conversation. Howell is improving each week, making multiple high-level throws; he is taking fewer sacks and continues to learn how to manipulate the pocket.
We’re halfway through the 2023 NFL season. There are some impressive data points available for Howell now.
Here are some of the best stats/numbers from Howell after Week 9.
Sam Howell leads the NFL in "Big Time Throws"
According to PFF, Sam Howell has made more big time throws than any QB in the NFL this season.
PFF defines BTT's as a "pass with excellent ball location and timing, generally thrown down the field and/or into a tight window." pic.twitter.com/9x8YOGCLlP
— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) November 7, 2023
No. 2 in the NFL in passing yards
Howell vs. the blitz
Sam Howell vs. the Patriots blitz:
1 TD / 0 INTs
113.0 passer rating
— PFF Commanders (@PFF_Washington) November 6, 2023
Remember how Howell was supposed to shrink against Bill Belichick’s blitz packages? Instead, Howell shredded the Patriots’ pressure repeatedly. Perhaps there is no greater proof of his continued growth than in this area.
Since Week 4........
Two quarterbacks since Week 4 of the 2023 NFL season.
QB1: 141 completions in 206 attempts (68.4%) for 1,623 yards (7.9 YPA), 11 touchdowns, five interceptions, 13 big-time throws, and a passer rating of 99.6.
QB2: 170 completions in 254 attempts (66.9%) for 1,800 yards (7.1…
— Doug Farrar ✍ (@NFL_DougFarrar) November 7, 2023
Tua Tagovailoa is an MVP candidate and leads arguably the NFL’s most explosive offense.
Over the last 5 games
In the last five games, Sam Howell has thrown for 1,510 yards — most in the NFL. He also has thrown for 10 TDs during this time, tied for most.
— John Keim (@john_keim) November 5, 2023
More proof of Howell’s growth. He’s had back-to-back excellent games against the Philadelphia Eagles and a Bill Belichick defense.