5 things we learned about the Carolina Panthers in Week 1

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Robby Anderson
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Robby Anderson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Sam Darnold was a competent game manager for the Carolina Panthers

Sam Darnold finished the day with 279 passing yards, adding a single touchdown on the ground and through the air. His performance was reminiscent of vintage Alex Smith during his time with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Darnold avoided the turnovers that plagued him last season and managed the offense distributing the ball to his playmakers.

This is the Darnold that the Carolina Panthers need to show up throughout the season.

The former first-round pick can make throws and push the ball down the field when he needs to. Otherwise, he can distribute and let his skilled players make plays.

We will learn a lot more about Darnold in Week 2 when the Panthers take on the New Orleans Saints. A team that is going to try and force the signal-caller to throw the ball deep and make plays.

Darnold’s best throw of the day was a pretty deep ball to Robby Anderson for his lone score through the air. It was perfectly placed between two defenders trailing the wideout and hopefully a sign of things to come between the duo.

A pairing with existing chemistry the Panthers will lean on early as Darnold becomes comfortable with the rest of the Carolina offense.