4 big Carolina Panthers storylines to watch at the Giants in Week 7

(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Derrick Brown
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Derrick Brown /
2 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Carolina Panthers QB Sam Darnold’s MetLife return

This is it for Sam Darnold. A chance to make a happy memory at MetLife Stadium.

Something he didn’t do too much during his three years with the New York Jets. Although there were certainly other factors in play that caused the quarterback’s demise.

If the first three games placed the blame elsewhere, then there are now real doubts creeping in regarding Darnold and whether he can be a high-class performer at the position.

Five interceptions over the last two games is not a good look for the USC product. So putting it right in a familiar surrounding is the only way to get people back onside.

One can make excuses for Darnold all day. But the fact of the matter is he has to shoulder a large amount of responsibility for the way things have regressed over the last three games.

Not having Christian McCaffrey has impacted Darnold. However, the same applied to Teddy Bridgewater in 2020 and the Panthers brought him into the organization to avoid the complications that blighted the team without the All-Pro last time around.

Carolina cannot rely on McCaffrey’s health anymore. So it’s up to Darnold to take games like this by the scruff of the neck and get the Panthers over the finishing line.

Deshaun Watson rumors reared their ugly head again this week. If nothing else, this increases the sense of urgency surrounding Darnold and his performance will be something to monitor very closely in Week 7.