3 encouraging signs from Sam Darnold’s Week 1 performance

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

19. 87. Final. 14. 30

What were some encouraging signs to take from Sam Darnold’s competitive debut for the Carolina Panthers in Week 1 against the New York Jets?

Although Sam Darnold has a pretty calm demeanor, he’d be forgiven for letting the emotion of going up against his former team when the Carolina Panthers hosted the New York Jets in Week 1.

Thankfully for the Panthers, Darnold managed to hold it all together and do just enough for his side to open their 2021 campaign with a 19-14 success at Bank of America Stadium.

It’s worth remembering that this is just Week 1 and Darnold had only one half of football during the preseason. Carolina opted to focus more on reps in joint practices rather than warmup games, which was a theme used across the league ahead of a 17-game schedule.

Overall, Darnold’s performance was pleasing.

Not exceptional by any stretch. But the Panthers might have something providing the protection in front of Darnold makes the necessary improvements.

Sunday’s game against one of the worst teams in the league in the midst of a substantial rebuild was a good place for Darnold to start. The added incentive of sticking it to his former employers didn’t hurt, either.

With this in mind, here are three reasons for fans to be encouraged by Darnold’s display in Week 1 at Bank of America Stadium.