4 keys to victory for the Carolina Panthers vs. NY Jets in Week 1

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Carolina Panthers must keep Sam Darnold from “seeing ghosts”

Much has been said about that famous hot mic moment and with good reason, it wasn’t a good look. However, that time has come and gone and a change of scenery has hopefully exorcised those specific demons.

Hope is the most important word in that sentence and there isn’t much of it after how the Carolina Panthers’ offensive line fared against the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ second team.

One thing that was touched on often by many commentators during the final preseason game, the only real sample we got of Sam Darnold in Panthers blue, was the fact that he never really seemed comfortable. The former Jet was almost always on the move, never quite settled.

While Darnold performed very well in that game, the point still needs to be made that it’s not a way to consistently win.

Pressure will get home eventually and constantly being on the run will lead to mistakes. Whether that be an overthrown ball or just not getting through progressions before throwing it away or running.

One of the greatest to ever play the position, Roger Staubach, was known as “Captain Comeback” because of his ability to win games late. But playing from behind is never a great idea or in anyone’s game plan.

Eventually, you will come up short.

And while Darnold is certainly no Staubach at this point in his career, performing well under adverse circumstances does not lead to long-term success. Keeping him as comfortable as possible in the pocket has to be the Panthers’ top priority because the wheels could fall off very quickly if those ghosts get in the mood for another haunting.