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 /

Sam Darnold vs. New Orleans Saints – Week 2

Many believed the New Orleans Saints defense would cause Sam Darnold some real problems despite missing some key men from the lineup. Outside of one poor decision that resulted in an interception, this wasn’t the case.

Darnold was absolutely sensational in the first half. His throws were on point more often than not and the signal-caller benefitted enormously from some additional time to go through his reads in the pocket.

The Carolina Panthers got out to a 17-0 lead at the break thanks to another complete performance on both sides of the football. Darnold regressed as a whole in the third quarter in keeping with what’s transpiring of late, but he regrouped and led his team on a game-winning drive late on that saw Christian McCaffrey go in for a running score.

This was the biggest indicator yet that the Panthers have something in Darnold.

Getting it done against the New York Jets is one thing. But this was something else entirely.

Grade: A

As Darnold stated in his post-game presser, there are some areas that need to be cleaned up. But few would argue that things aren’t trending in the right direction.

Another polished performance from Darnold led the Panthers to a 2-0 record. Something fans hadn’t experienced since the 2017 campaign.