1. Sam Howell has to make better decisions
Howell is an inexperienced NFL starter but he suffered through a disastrous game against Buffalo last week. His turnovers took Washington out of this game before his teammates truly had a chance to make it a competitive contest.
Rivera should work to rein his young passer back in this week. Washington cannot afford to become overly conservative against the Eagles' aggressive front seven, but they do need to manage the shots Howell takes down the field. Throwing up early jump balls could torpedo the young quarterback's confidence.
Instead, expect the Commanders to lean heavily on the run and short throws early in the game to help rehabilitate Howell's confidence. Some easy throws to McLaurin could do wonders to improve his mindset after his debacle against the Bills.
Howell could also benefit from improved protection from his offensive line. Taking an eye-popping seven sacks against Buffalo did not help his ball security. There are plenty of quarterbacks who see their turnover percentage increase when they're forced to run for their lives on a down-by-down basis.
The Commanders will need to walk a fine line between conservatism and playing afraid when they take on Philadelphia this weekend. No matter where they fall on that line, Howell cannot afford to sink his team with turnovers for a second consecutive week.