5 major observations from Sam Darnold’s second preseason game

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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Sam Darnold
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Sam Darnold made a solid start

If Sam Darnold was nervous heading into Friday night’s game, he didn’t show it initially. The quarterback certainly looked the part at times during the opening drive, which lasted more than seven minutes and went 60 yards before things once again faltered in the red zone.

Darnold made some nice throws and more importantly, didn’t put a foot wrong when it came to his decision-making. Credit should also go to the offensive line for their pass protection during the first series, although the quarterback was forced to scramble on fourth down before throwing an incompletion.

This continued on drive No. 2. Darnold connected with a couple of primary playmakers to lead them into opposition territory, which resulted in kicker Ryan Santoso sending a long-range field goal narrowly through the upright.

Darnold settled down well. Although it’s worth remembering the Pittsburgh Steelers rested their top defensive stars during what was their fourth warmup game after featuring in this year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame contest.

Any momentum Darnold can generate before going up against his former team in Week 1 is something to build off. And the coaching staff would have been happy with the opening series.