(Photo credit: Brent Skeen-USA TODAY Sports)
Sam Howell now has two games as an NFL quarterback under his belt. Both were starts, and both were wins.
Howell and the Washington Commanders will try to build off a Week 1 home victory and take it on the road to face Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos.
Washington (1-0) opened the seasonwith a 20-16 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Howell capped a fourth-quarter drive by running in a 6-yard touchdown to erase a 16-10 deficit.
He finished the game 19-of-31 passing for 202 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also took six sacks, one of which led to a fumble return touchdown.
"Definitely a lot of things to clean up," Howell said of his performance. "I just think offensively we -- there's a lot of things that we learned on film and things that we expect and hope to do a better job of this week."
Last year's fifth-round draft pick also started Week 18 of the Commanders' tumultuous 2022 season with a win over Dallas. He was named the team's No. 1 quarterback several weeks into camp.
Howell got a big assist from Washington's vaunted front seven against Arizona. Montez Sweat posted 1.5 sacks, twice forcing Cardinals quarterback Josh Dobbs to fumble.
Wilson is a much different, much more experienced quarterback in which to gameplan.
"I've watched Russell Wilson a lot as well," Howell said. "I think we kind of have a similar game style. He was one of the guys I watched growing up that I liked the way he played the game. It'll be fun to go against him on Sunday."
The Broncos (0-1) couldn't parlay Wilson's solid season opener into a win. After a highly disappointing first season in Denver, Wilson opened 2023 by completing 27 of 34 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns.
The Broncos had just six possessions and pieced together drives of 14, 10 and 16 plays, but in the second half, they could only muster three points on three possessions, and the Raiders scored the go-ahead touchdown with 6:34 left.
"Hopefully we can get some more possessions and continue to try to move the ball downfield," Wilson said Wednesday.
Broncos coach Sean Payton and Commanders coach Ron Rivera have gone head-to-head plenty in the past when Payton coached the New Orleans Saints and Rivera led the Carolina Panthers.
"They're disciplined. They're outstanding when they win the turnover differential," Payton said of Rivera's teams. "We went through those numbers today ... their record when they win the turnover margin is pretty remarkable."
The Broncos placed safety Caden Sterns (torn patellar tendon) on injured reserve and promoted wide receiver Lil'Jordan Humphrey to the active roster. Humphrey had a touchdown catch in Week 1 as a practice squad call-up.
Tight end Greg Dulcich (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday. Linebacker Frank Clark (hip), wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (hamstring), defensive tackle D.J. Jones (knee), and cornerback Riley Moss (abdomen) were limited. Jeudy, one of Denver's top receivers, missed Week 1.
The only Washington player to miss practice Wednesday was defensive back Jartavius Martin (concussion). Wide receiver Curtis Samuel (hip) was limited, as was defensive end Chase Young (neck), who did not play in Week 1 but could make his season debut against Denver.
--Field Level Media