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
(Alex Hicks Jr./Spartanburg Herald-Journal via IMAGN Content Services) Sam Darnold /

Sam Darnold leads the Carolina Panthers to the playoffs

Sam Darnold and his success with the Carolina Panthers will ultimately come down to whether or not he can come through in the big moments. This separates the good quarterbacks from the great and something that really hurt the team in 2020 after Teddy Bridgewater went 0-8 on game-winning or tying drives.

Taking an organization that’s finished 5-11 for two consecutive campaigns into the postseason is a tall order. Especially since Darnold’s career win-loss record stands at 13-25.

However, this is a fresh start for the player and aside from the protection, everything is in place for Darnold to shift the narrative that’s engulfed him over the player’s first three years in the league.

Another thing that shouldn’t be overlooked is Carolina’s defense, which could be a top-10 unit next season and might be able to keep the Panthers competitive even if the offense is struggling at times during the campaign.

If Darnold can lead Carolina to a surprise playoff berth, it would be nothing short of remarkable.

Getting off to a winning start is going to be crucial. The Panthers have some favorable games over the first six weeks and if they can take advantage before things get a little tougher, there should be enough momentum to make a splash.

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The time for talk and speculation regarding Darnold is almost at an end. He must now start repaying the faith shown in him by Matt Rhule and Scott Fitterer.