3 winners and 3 losers from Carolina Panthers win vs. NY Jets in Week 1

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Daviyon Nixon
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Daviyon Nixon /
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Sam Darnold
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Sam Darnold – Carolina Panthers QB

When you beat the team that traded you away for a rookie quarterback in the offseason, that’s an automatic win. And exactly what Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold did against the New York Jets on Sunday.

Darnold finished his first game in Carolina against his former team completing 24-of-35 passes for 279 yards, a 56-yard passing touchdown to Robby Anderson, and a five-yard rushing score himself.

As mentioned before, the second half wasn’t great. But Darnold’s impressive start to the game was enough to help lead the Panthers to victory.

There were some throws that could have been better, including attempts to tight end Ian Thomas and wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. in the end zone. However, it was a good start for the 24-year-old former first-round pick.

He also had a lost fumble that would have made his day better had Darnold avoided that mistake.

Darnold made a big throw when it mattered with his touchdown pass to Anderson, he completed passes to seven different players and was smart enough to take the ball himself to run for the touchdown late in the first half.

The rest of the game was acting as a play-manager, so there is still a lot of analysis to be seen but he got the job done this week.