5 shining stars from Carolina Panthers win vs. the Saints in Week 2

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Morgan Fox and Haason Reddick
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Morgan Fox and Haason Reddick /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Sam Darnold – Carolina Panthers QB

This was expected to be a better measuring stick for Sam Darnold and what development might be needed moving forward. The New Orleans Saints were coming off a dominant win over the Green Bay Packers and even though they were missing some key pieces on defense, Sean Payton still had enough talent at his disposal to cause the quarterback problems.

If fans of the Carolina Panthers were concerned, they needn’t have been.

Outside of a bizarre interception from a poor decision, Darnold performed to an extremely high level once again and there appears to be some real belief that the organization made the correct call bringing him on board from the New York Jets.

There are still some things to clean up. Darnold admitted as much in his post-game presser after the win.

But the conviction and confidence he’s displaying under center are very encouraging.

Even when it seemed things were stuttering in the third quarter, Darnold dug deep and led his team on a game-winning drive in the fourth that ended with Christian McCaffrey finding the end-zone. A situation he might have faltered in at MetLife Stadium.

Environments matter. And make no mistake, Darnold has found the right one and long may these sorts of performances continue.