5 key observations from Sam Darnold’s performance vs. Saints in Week 2

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

Sam Darnold was sensational in the first half

Not only did Sam Darnold catch the eye over his opening drive. But he was absolutely sensational throughout the first half as the Carolina Panthers went into the break with a commanding 17-0 advantage.

Darnold made some incredible throws to keep the chains moving and get his primary playmakers involved. D.J. Moore went into the end-zone last in the second quarter, Robby Anderson came up with a big catch, and it was nice to see the quarterback displaying the chemistry we saw with tight end Dan Arnold during the offseason period.

This was as good as it gets.

Darnold was flawless and demonstrated a velocity to his throws that was a primary reason behind the Panthers bringing him on board in the first place.

The former first-round selection’s stats in the first half were exemplary.

  • 18/20 passing (80%)
  • 216 passing yards
  • 2 touchdowns
  • 0 interceptions
  • 145.0 passer rating

Now, there is a long way to go for Darnold and the Panthers. But this did nothing to dispel the notion that he could be the long-term successor to Cam Newton if he continues in this manner.

Keeping this up in the second half was equally as important, obviously. Especially considering it almost led to their demise in Week 1.