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 growing in confidence

There seems to be a swagger about Sam Darnold that’s been missing over his first three years in the NFL. The quarterback might not have the flamboyant demeanor of a Cam Newton or Patrick Mahomes, but his confidence is clearly heading in the right direction after a torrid spell on the New York Jets with little to no help around him.

We’ve stated many times that this trade was the best thing that could have happened to Darnold.

The Carolina Panthers are loaded with playmakers and have the progressive young coaches he needs to flourish providing the offensive line held up in key situations. They also have full belief in his abilities.

It was always going to be a work in progress for Darnold. He wasn’t going to turn into a Pro Bowler overnight and his interception in the third quarter on a reckless decision straight into the hands of defensive tackle Malcolm Roach is testament to this.

However, aside from that error which ended in a New Orleans Saints touchdown, the decision-making was good and there is a conviction to his throws that was perhaps missing at times during Teddy Bridgewater’s stint under center in 2020.

Darnold’s opening two games have been promising, for the most part. But there is a long way to go just yet.