4 major differences to expect from the Panthers offense in 2021

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Joe Brady
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Joe Brady /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Carolina Panthers take more risks downfield

Being an accurate passer is not enough in today’s NFL. Teddy Bridgewater found that out to his cost last season and was subsequently traded by the Carolina Panthers once they got their hands on Sam Darnold.

The former No. 3 overall selection doesn’t have much solid form to go off in terms of production. But it’s worth remembering Darnold was done absolutely no favors by the New York Jets during a torrid three years with the organization.

For all Darnold’s obvious faults and poor decision-making, one thing the USC product does have going for him is exceptional arm strength.

This might just have swayed the Panthers into pulling the trigger after they missed out on both Matthew Stafford and Deshaun Watson. The presence of Darnold’s old teammate Robby Anderson is another huge potential factor that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Darnold’s arrival should open up the playbook a little bit more.

Carolina has the talent in the passing game to ensure at least one player will be open on any given down. So it’s vital the signal-caller makes the correct read more often than not in the hope of resurrecting a career that is hanging right in the balance.

This is an opportunity Darnold cannot afford to waste. Another campaign littered with inconsistencies would almost certainly see Carolina look in a different direction in 2022 and condemn the player to a backup role at best in the coming years.