Commanders’ stats of the week: Lots of turnover for Washington and the Broncos

Sam Howell will make his NFL road debut Sunday against a team in similar circumstances to his own. The Denver Broncos, now led by Coach Sean Payton, have cycled through nearly a dozen quarterbacks, multiple head coaches and several schemes over the past seven years, in search of stability and an identity.

And they’re still searching, creating an opportunity for Washington (1-0) to capture its first road victory over the Broncos (0-1) in 22 years. But it won’t come easily.

Here’s what Week 1 revealed about the Commanders’ offense

Let’s dig into the stats to get to know the Broncos.

24 different starting QBs

No two teams have had more turnover at quarterback than the Commanders and Broncos in recent years.

Since 2016, when Peyton Manning retired, the Broncos have started 11 quarterbacks and running back Phillip Lindsay. (Lindsay opened Denver’s 2020 loss to the New Orleans Saints in the wildcat, and Kendall Hinton, a practice squad receiver, played the remainder of the game while the team’s four quarterbacks were ineligible because of coronavirus protocols.)

Washington, meanwhile, has cycled through 13 starting quarterbacks in that span, and the turnover for both teams doesn’t stop there. Combined, the Broncos and Commanders have had four controlling owners, nine head coaches (including interims), 12 offensive coordinators and eight defensive coordinators since ’16.

.627 home winning percentage

Despite the Broncos’ struggles in recent seasons, they continue to pack the stands at Empower Field at Mile High, making for a tough road environment. The higher altitude only adds to it.

Brewer: Why NFL quarterbacks looked so bad in Week 1

Denver has sold out 433 consecutive home games, an NFL record for a single city, dating back to Week 1 of the 1970 season. (It’s worth noting that sellouts are determined by paid attendance and don’t account for no-shows.)

The Broncos are also one of seven teams with 300 home victories since their inception, in 1960, and boast the NFL’s sixth-highest home winning percentage, .627 (300-178-7). Washington is 2-6 when facing the Broncos on their home turf.

Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson hasn’t played to the level he did in Seattle since he left the Seahawks in 2022. But his career production is on the brink of another milestone. With 33 rushing yards Sunday, he’ll become the first quarterback in NFL history with at least 40,000 career passing yards and 5,000 rushing yards.

Washington wanted Russell Wilson. Sam Howell wanted to play like him.

Howell has a chance to set a dual-threat record of his own. With a passing and rushing touchdown against the Broncos, he’ll become the first player ever to record one of each in his first three career games. Howell had a seven-yard touchdown pass to Brian Robinson Jr. and a six-yard go-ahead touchdown run in Washington’s Week 1 win over the Arizona Cardinals. In his NFL debut against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 18 last season, Howell had a 16-yard touchdown pass to receiver Terry McLaurin and a nine-yard rushing touchdown.

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