3 winners and 3 losers from Carolina Panthers final preseason game

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

Sam Darnold – Carolina Panthers QB

Carolina Panthers fans were finally able to see their new starting quarterback play more than a series and boy, he looked solid.

Sam Darnold, who didn’t play in the first preseason game and only attempted two passes against the Baltimore Ravens, turned the entire first half versus the Pittsburgh Steelers and was impressive – even if it was against Mike Tomlin’s second-string defense.

In total, Darnold went 19-of-25 for 162 passing yards, two touchdowns and a 119.1 quarterback rating.

More impressively, Darnold managed these numbers while the offensive line starters struggled. He was sacked once but was under pressure a handful of times.

Under pressure, Darnold had some Jets-Esque moments but managed to pull himself together.

He connected with wide receivers Terrace Marshall Jr. and Robby Anderson on his two touchdown passes and found D.J. Moore six times for 48 yards.

The signal-caller’s final drive that ended with Anderson catching a touchdown was a 12-play, 84-yard series which Darnold helped lead all the way down the field.

Once again, it’s just preseason and things will be even tougher when the regular season begins. But the Panthers couldn’t have asked for much more from Darnold on Friday night.

The real test starts on September 12 against his former team at Bank of America Stadium.