Eric Bieniemy, along with quarterback Sam Howell and the offensive line, had a very good response against the Philadelphia Eagles following their seven-point performance against the New York Giants. Sunday’s game against the Eagles was the first time this season that Howell was sacked less than four times in a game. The offensive line’s performance contributed to Howell’s best performance on the season; you can watch the film session here.
According to Washington Commanders public relations, Washington’s 481 scrimmage yards was the most in a single game since November 2020, and it was the fourth time in team history that a quarterback threw for over 390 yards and four touchdowns in a game. Additionally, Howell is the tenth quarterback in NFL history to reach 200 completions through nine career games and is the fastest in team history.
While the offense showed signs of life, Bieniemy showed a ton of composure in his weekly presser by refusing to entertain the small victories on the offense or Howell specifically. “You know what? I think Sam is right where he needs to be. He’s making the necessary steps moving forward,” Bieniemy on if Howell is becoming a franchise quarterback. “ We just got to find ways to make sure that we continue to take care of business so we can continue with the improvement.”
Bieniemy’s messaging on Howell, compared to head coach Ron Rivera, is a completely different tone. “I know this franchise has been looking for quite some time and for the first time in a while, I think that that guy might be here. I really do,” Rivera said when asked about the lack of consistency with four first-round defensive linemen.
Bieniemy, to be fair, coached Patrick Mahomes, one of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game. So Bieniemy understands what winning and a franchise quarterback looks like.
“I’ll say this, I thought the guys, their mindset was in the right place. The attitudes was right where it needed to be. I thought we went out and accepted the challenge. I thought for the most part, we played hard, we played fast, we gave ourselves a chance. But when it’s all said and done with, we got to learn what the term accountability means. Once we figure that out, we’ll be all right. But like I said, we’re not going to celebrate small victories, meaning we had some success, we didn’t find a way to win. We got to continue to find a way to win.” - Bieniemy on what adjustments helped the offense last week
The New England Patriots are up next, and Howell understands how effective Bill Belichick’s (who is 22-6 against rookie quarterbacks) coverage disguises against opposing quarterbacks. The Patriots are primarily a single-high defense that plays plenty of cover one and three in their secondary. Fortunately for Howell and the offensive line, the New England Patriots have struggled to create pressure this season, so Washington’s offense has a chance to stack good performances on top of each other if Howell and center Tyler Larsen can make the proper reads and handle the protection calls upfront, respectively.
Listen/Watch the latest Trap or Dive Podcast, where AJ, Dre, and I close the book on Washington’s decision to move on from Sweat and Young. We also discuss Rivera’s and Bieniemy’s comments on Sam Howell, and a potential giveaway from AJ if Howell shines against the Patriots.
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