Let me preface this with a note that the view I present does not think it serious to hold a more traditional view. Unity on other matters make this subject peripheral.
Another common view is among popular evangelicalism that would not try to defend their emphasis on the sacraments, but oppose an over emphasis by others. From their view the need for any kind of visible succession is more or less superstition. The situation with Jesus at the well with the Samaritan would seem similar. The woman was not very spiritual. She could not help worrying about external rites. She did not know which mountain to worship on. Should she worship at the visible, material mountain from her holy men's traditions, or the one from the Jew’s traditions? Jesus said it does not matter:
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will
worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of
worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must
worship in the Spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24)
In a similar way, most evangelicals think the Catholic Church was like a snowball of superstition. Starting to collect superstitions, around the time of Constantine, until Luther, the snowball formed. At this point the Church and its Traditions had become a molted layer of dead skin, with the 'histoblast' of a butterfly forming, which is the reformation under Luther.
Yet Luther attached 'spooky' 'superstitious' ideas about Baptism and The Lord's Supper still, so we have not yet arrived at the popular view I am explaining as one alterative view. By ‘spooky” I mean Luther believed that there is “the Real Presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Christian Eucharist.” (sacramental union) and although not fully believing in baptismal regeneration (that water baptism was necessary for salvation) he did seem to infer that salvations was more intimately linked to baptism than later reformers.
Most feel it is easy to forgive Luther on this point because having been raised under so many superstitions; one cannot expect full departure in one man. Therefore during the next generation, or two, or three, we find the lead being taken by the independent Puritans, like John Owen, some of who settled into America, like the Presbyterian Jonathan Edwards. America, having possibly the most independant evangelical community, now also has a strong contingent of Baptist churches, who in addition to strictly taking a symbolic view of the sacraments, also reject infant baptism altogether.
For example John Owen, a leading Puritan in the mid 1600’s, though still quite traditional, said the following with regard to the Lord’s supper:
Do the elements remain bread and wine still, after the blessing of them?...Yes; all the spiritual change is wrought by the faith of the receiver”
This is clearly different from Luther.
Or with regard to the Lord’s supper:
Regeneration doth not consist in these things, which are only outward signs and tokens of it, or at most instituted means of effecting it...The apostle really states this case, 1 Peter 3:21, “In answer whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” The outward administration of this ordinance, considered materially, reacheth no farther but to the washing away of “the filth of the flesh;” (John Owen's Works Volume 3 P268)
Taking great emphasis on the 'inner reality' of regeneration as opposed to the 'external practice' of the Lord’s Supper, Jonathan Edwards (considered by many as one of the most influential evangelicals in American history) was excommunicated from his own church. only latter to be asked the he might forgive them! This was partly because Edwards's became convicted that unless someone is really a regenerate believer, they should not partake in the Lord’s Supper. For people should not perform and external rite symbolizing something that has not actually occurred inside them. His argument was published in a book entitled, Qualifications for Communion (1749). (Refer to Works of President Edwards Volume 1, Page 276)
Regarding the two sacraments themselves, Baptism primarily is seen as a New Testament version of circumcision, symbolizing the cutting away the sinful flesh, including all of its superstitions by faith. It symbolizes dying to the world and rising in Christ. There was nothing spooky about circumcision.
The Lord's Supper, the only repetitive practice, is seen as a very solemn means to enforce the creed that Christ and His works are all that matters, our works have little importance. This emphasis is seen as so important, that if you blaspheme against it as some did in Corinth, you could create scandalous shame that God would have to publicly manifest His displeasure, as He did in Corinth.
30 That is why many among you are
weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians
So although this large portion of evangelicals largely avoid any link with ancient church tradition, they take their freedom about these matters seriously.
Their 'succession' of tradition is not through Popes or Saints but faith like Abraham's. Succession even through one man is enough for them, but even in the dark ages, it was not as bad as Noah's time regarding numbers of true church leaders.
The Bible is viewed as the only authority on the matter and all ‘holy’ tradition praised or condemned on that basis.
I should mention I am not representing the whole evangelical view, or of even the average view. The fact is, there are many views. But I have presented a view that does not think the emhasis should in any way be placed on the external form of religion.