Grading Sam Darnold’s first three games as Carolina Panthers QB

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

How has Sam Darnold fared over his first three games as quarterback of the Carolina Panthers in 2021?

It certainly hasn’t been dull for Sam Darnold over the first three weeks of the 2021 season. The Carolina Panthers place a significant amount of faith in the quarterback to acquire him via trade from the New York Jets, which was a make-or-break move both for the player and the organization in no uncertain terms.

There appears little doubt that Darnold made a nice impact throughout the offseason. He got his teammates onboard very quickly with a quiet sense of confidence, which was the first critical stage in what will hopefully become the long-term solution to Carolina’s woes under center.

That was just the opening objective, obviously. How Darnold performs when it matters most is the biggest measuring stick of all in pursuit of finally providing beyond all doubt he is a capable NFL starter.

The former USC star has had some very nice moments over the campaign to date. Even if there are some concerning elements to Darnold’s production that need to be eradicated moving forward.

Still, this is better than anything Carolina’s fanbase hoped after three weeks with the team sitting at 3-0.

Some sterner tests are coming for Darnold and the Panthers, beginning in Week 4 with a trip to the Dallas Cowboys. Ahead of this crucial contest, we graded the signal-caller’s performances over the first three games.