Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Sam Howell taking sacks at a historic rate

Commanders quarterback Sam Howell is taking sacks at a rate that would obliterate the NFL record — in the unlikely event that he lasts 17 games getting sacked the way he has through the first three.

Howell has been sacked an NFL-high 19 times this season, or 6.3 times per game. Over a 17-game season, that would project to a preposterous 108 sacks. The NFL record for most times sacked in a season is 76, set by David Carr with the expansion Texans in 2002.

Howell is also losing yardage on sacks like no other quarterback. Through three games, Howell has lost 124 yards on sacks. That would project to a total of 703 yards on sacks in a 17-game season. The NFL record for yards lost on sacks in a season is 489, set by Randall Cunningham with the Eagles in 1986.

After Howell was sacked nine times in Sunday’s 37-3 loss to the Bills, there were some questions of whether coach Ron Rivera should have taken Howell out of the game. Rivera said he thinks it will be good for Howell to learn from playing through tough games like that.

We want to see him handle this. We want to see him do the things that he’s capable of,” Rivera said. “There is a certain point that probably protecting him would’ve been the next step. . . . He’s a young guy, and he’s got to play, and that’s really what it comes down to, him learning and growing and getting better.”

Howell has to learn to avoid pressure better, or else he’s going to break the single-season sack record or get hurt before he can.