5 key observations from Sam Darnold’s performance at the Texans

(Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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Sam Darnold
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

Sam Darnold rocked by Christian McCaffrey injury

Just when things were going well for the Carolina Panthers.

The organization was rocked in the second quarter when Christian McCaffrey was ruled out with a hamstring injury. This had a significant impact on the team in the immediate aftermath, which allowed the Houston Texans to capitalize and go into the halftime interval just one point behind.

Sam Darnold lost his security blanket.

And it definitely showed.

His demeanor under center completely changed. As did the attitude of Houston’s defense who smelled blood in the water and dialed up pressure on a suspect offensive line accordingly.

Things could have been even worse for Darnold had two fumbles not been picked up. It was really concerning to see everything so flat without the face of the franchise.

McCaffrey is the heart and soul of the Panthers. The player every opposing defensive coordinator gameplans for and the best dual-threat running back in the NFL.

Now all the Panthers can do is hope for good news. They have 10 days before their Week 4 contest at the Dallas Cowboys, although considering it is McCaffrey’s hamstring, putting him on the field for that one seems very unlikely.