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?
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.