After his first 12 weeks NFLin which the Playoff scenario is set beyond not having any rankings at this time, Sam Howell appears as one of the main points. Washington Governors He’ll miss the postseason once again (he won just four games), but the franchise could have its future in the QB’s hands.
The 144th overall pick in 2022 is the leader in passing yards with 3,339, 73 ahead of CJ Stroud. The team’s passing game is almost entirely focused on passing, and its numbers are astounding: it also leads in attempts (486) and is 10th in TDs (18). It’s worth noting that he’s also first in less pleasant categories like interceptions (13), sacks received (55) and picks (3).
Sports news in detail the reasons why it is considered the biggest surprise.
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Why Sam Howell Is the NFL’s Biggest Surprise of 2023?
The reasons why Sam Howell is the biggest surprise of 2023 are based on an individual level, not a collective one. The Washington Commanders, in an extremely complicated division, have not found the winning formula despite the good production of their offense. The QB immediately connected with his primary weapons: Brian Robinson Jr., Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, Jahan Dotson and Logan Thomas. This translates into big numbers.
His 3,339 yards passing wasn’t in anyone’s plans. Not even from coach Ron Rivera, who regrets not giving him more minutes in 2022. According to information from Albert Breer, “The coach admitted he didn’t know how good Howell was going into the 2022 season or he would have started him earlier.” Bookmakers had pegged his ceiling at 3,100. Well if they were wrong…
In a 38-31 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Howell burst onto the scene with 4 TDs and a 75% passing success rate (397 yards). Before that, he scored three times against the Atlanta Falcons in a 24-16 win and then did it again in the fall against the Seattle Seahawks in a 29-26 win. To take the next step, the QB will have to make fewer mistakes (and the team will give him a strong offensive line and a serious defense).
With 13 interceptions, Howell leads this dismal ranking. A disastrous game in a 37-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills, on a day when he threw four interceptions, raised some doubts. Those returned when he fumbled the ball three times in a 31-19 loss to the New York Giants. But there is an explanation: the offensive line. Sam doesn’t feel safe.
Why don’t you feel safe? Because every game is “running for its life”. Howell was sacked 55 times and lost 375 yards. He is first in both categories. He also leads Mac Jones and Bryce Young in hits (3).
The Commanders have a QB of the future but are obligated to take care of him. What they failed to do with Carson Wentz, Taylor Heinicke and many others.
Other 2023 NFL surprises
Sam Howell isn’t the only one who has surprised so far this campaign. Four other names could make up a potential top 5: Raheem Mostert, Tank Dell, Puka Nacua and DaRon Bland.
- Raheem Mostert: The Miami Dolphins RB is seasoned in the league, but had never put on a release like this. He leads the NFL with 13 rushing TDs and is second in yards (785). He previously played for the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers.
- Tank Dell: Selected 69th overall in the last Draft, the Houston Texans WR has 7 TDs and is the fifth leading scorer. He is a key piece in one of the sensational teams.
- Puka Nacua: The Los Angeles Rams struck gold at WR at No. 177 in 2022. He currently has 924 receiving yards (8th) and 73 receptions (10th). The outstanding score is his TDs: just three.
- Darron Bland: The Dallas Cowboys cornerback has made history with five pick sixes so far this season. Although his performance is not a “surprise” since he showed his talent in 2022, a year he finished with five interceptions.
It’s worth clarifying that the production of CJ Stroud and Jordan Addison, for example, is not considered a surprise since both were selected in the first round of the 2023 Draft and much was expected of them. And they live up to expectations.