4 ambitious goals for Carolina Panthers QB Sam Darnold in 2021

(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) Sam Darnold
(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) Sam Darnold /
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Sam Darnold
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Sam Darnold throws for 4,500 passing yards

This is definitely ambitious.

But not impossible.

Sam Darnold is heading into a 17-game season with weapons in the passing game he’s never had before. There is a potential complication regarding the protection in front of him, but if they can hold up to their end of the bargain, it’s hard to envisage a situation where the quarterback doesn’t go on to great things in 2021.

Darnold needs to average 264.7 yards per game throwing the football to attain this feat. His previous career-high came in 2019 with 232.6, which isn’t the worst in the world considering he wasn’t exactly put in the best position to succeed on the New York Jets.

Consider the playmakers Darnold has around him.

There is Christian McCaffrey in the backfield – the best dual-threat running back in the league – with the likes of D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson, David Moore, and Terrace Marshall Jr. in the passing game to further boost their options.

Improved tight-end production could also assist. The Panthers brought in Dan Arnold from the Arizona Cardinals in free agency, who seems to have gotten on the same page with Darnold quickly in a short space of time.

This would be a huge step in the right direction for Darnold. One that represents some outstanding progress in a different environment.