The Washington Commanders are heading into Week 2 preparation pleased to be 1-0, but Sunday's 20-16 win over the Arizona Cardinals at FedEx Field proved that coach Ron Rivera's team still has tons to fix ahead of some tough upcoming matchups.
Despite facing a team projected to be one of the league's worst this season, quarterback Sam Howell showcased his resilience and led the Commanders to victory. The game wasn't without its challenges, as the Cardinals held Washington scoreless in the third quarter and threatened to upset them on the road.
However, Howell remained composed and earned the trust of star receiver Terry McLaurin. McLaurin praised Howell's unwavering demeanor, stating, "I think you never saw him shaking, you never saw him with his head down. He took some tough hits out there. He's our guy, we're going to support him but as a whole collective we could do a better job just staying on track and helping him out."
For Howell, it wasn't the ideal start to his first game as the official QB1. He finished with 19 of 31 passing for 202 yards, one touchdown, and one interception, while also enduring six sacks. Despite these subpar stats, Howell's go-ahead rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter secured the victory for Washington.
As the Commanders look to continue their winning streak, Howell's confidence is expected to grow. However, if they want to start the season off strong, Howell will need to be at his best.
Building on this win, Howell has an opportunity to showcase his skills and improve his performance. The Commanders will rely on his leadership and playmaking abilities as they face tougher opponents in the coming weeks.
Overall, Washington's Week 1 triumph highlighted their resilience and determination. As they address areas for improvement, including protecting Howell in the pocket, the Commanders aim to establish a winning foundation for the season. With star receiver Terry McLaurin by his side, Howell has the support he needs to rise to the occasion and lead his team to victory.