Jihad Ward of the Giants attempts to sack Sam Howell of the Commanders in the first half. The NY Giants host the Washington Commanders at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on October 22, 2023.

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Commanders’ Ron Rivera sticking with QB Sam Howell

Sink or swim, Commanders head coach Ron Rivera maintained his support of starting quarterback Sam Howell despite a 3-4 record and Washington’s seven-point output in a loss to the New York Giants.

“Well, I will tell you this, I’m committed to him and we’ll see how things go,” Rivera said on Monday. “But I can’t predict the future and the only thing I’m going to do is, I’m going to focus in on one game at a time. Because the truth of the matter is, that’s the only thing that matters right now, and that’s getting ready for Philadelphia. Once I get done with this conversation with all you guys, it’ll be on to Philadelphia.”

A fifth-round pick in 2022, Howell is 4-4 in his NFL career and Rivera chose him to start over Jacoby Brissett following a training camp competition based largely on upside.

The Commanders are on record-breaking pace to give up 97 sacks this season with a pressure-allowed percentage of 38.6 percent of dropbacks.

David Carr was sacked 76 times in 16 games as a rookie in 2002.

Howell has been sacked 40 times in seven games this season and was taken down five times in the first half of Sunday’s loss to the Giants. He has nine touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2023, but Rivera and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy remain believers.

Rivera said the criticism of Howell isn’t entirely unfair, but made clear the Commanders see more “growth and development” than cause for alarm.

“As long as we have that young quarterback, he’s growing and developing, and we as a team play consistent complementary football, we have a chance,” Rivera said. “We just have to be accountable for what’s happened right now. Step up, develop, grow, and recognize our mistakes and correct those things. And that’s on me. It starts with me and I get that. Believe me, I’ve been doing this for a long time. And I’ll continue to do it as best as I can.”

The Commanders play the Philadelphia Eagles (6-1) at home this week. The Eagles beat Washington, 34-31, on Oct. 1 and sacked Howell five times.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.


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