4 ways Sam Darnold can prove his doubters wrong in 2021

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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Sam Darnold
(Alex Hicks Jr./Spartanburg Herald-Journal via IMAGN Content Services) Sam Darnold /

How can Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold prove his doubters wrong during a hugely important 2021 season for the player?

The pressure on Sam Darnold going into the 2021 season is clear. But what can the former USC man do to alleviate the pressure on his shoulders?

The Panthers have struggled at quarterback since Cam Newton’s 2015 MVP season.

Newton’s decline due to injuries and the production of Kyle Allen, Taylor Heinicke, and Teddy Bridgewater means the Panthers would have been one of the favorites to take a signal-caller in the recent draft, but with Ohio State Buckeye Justin Fields still on the board, those in power took South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn at No. 8 overall.

This is further proof that head coach Matt Rhule seems to put his trust at the minute in Darnold. Here are four ways the 2018 first-round pick can prove his doubters wrong following his trade from the New York Jets.

Way No. 1

Sam Darnold
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY) Sam Darnold, Will Grier and P.J. Walker /

Sam Darnold must turn the ball over less

Sam Darnold has really struggled since coming into the league with turnovers, throwing 39 picks compared to just 45 touchdowns. The Jets would have expected a better return from someone who they took No. 3 overall after a standout college career.

Part of Darnold’s struggles can be attributed to the other pieces of the Jets offense, playing behind one of the worst offensive lines in the league and having a much weaker wide receiver group than he now does in Carolina.

However, Darnold has had issues he needs to work on. In the 2020 season, the signal-caller threw more interceptions than scores, something he’ll need to severely improve on to convince fans and analysts he belongs at the top level.