5 major observations from Sam Darnold in Week 1 vs. NY Jets

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

Sam Darnold has the best security blanket in football

One of the biggest misses – perhaps the biggest of all – regarding the Carolina Panthers and their fortunes on offense in 2020 was the absence of Christian McCaffery. The running back featured in just three games due to various injury problems, so there was a real sense of anticipation regarding the All-Pro taking some competitive reps for the first time in 308 days.

It’s like he’d never been away.

McCaffrey looked at the part from the first drive right until the last. Something that clearly aided Sam Darnold in his pursuit of hitting the ground running in Week 1 against the New York Jets.

When there was pressure coming or things weren’t developing downfield as expected, McCaffrey always seemed to be open for his new signal-caller.

Darnold and McCaffrey go way back. And their chemistry was on point for most of the game.

One cannot express how important McCaffrey is to the Panthers. He is the NFL’s best dual-threat running back and wasted little time in reassuming this position after so long away from the gridiron.

If the former Stanford star can stay healthy all season, it’s going to help the Panthers and Darnold enormously. However, it’s also essential they find the right balance to preserve McCaffrey’s freshness.

And it’s a fine line.