4 ways Sam Darnold can seize final Panthers starting chance in Week 12

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Sam Darnold
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Sam Darnold /
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How can Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold seize what’s clearly his final starting chance in Week 12 against the Denver Broncos?

Last weekend’s game against the Baltimore Ravens represented a last-chance saloon situation for Baker Mayfield. After the former Oklahoma star fluffed his lines, the same scenario now comes upon the head of Sam Darnold after the Carolina Panthers made yet another switch at football’s most important position.

Interim head coach Steve Wilks declared his confidence in Darnold by naming him as Carolina’s No. 1 in Week 12 versus the Denver Broncos. An almost laughable merry-go-round under center that has evidently held the Panthers back over the last three years.

Darnold took his time getting back from a high ankle sprain and waited patiently for his opportunity. Whether the USC product can make a better go of things based on his first season with the Panthers is highly debatable.

With this in mind, here are four ways Darnold can seize the moment and become Carolina’s starting option for their remaining engagements in 2022.

Way No. 1

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

Sam Darnold must take complete charge

The Carolina Panthers cannot afford any more hesitancy under center. This hasn’t provided any confidence whatsoever in 2022 and if the same fate befalls Sam Darnold, the consequences will be severe not only this season but for his overall career prospects beyond the campaign.

Darnold hasn’t been seen in a competitive environment for almost a year. With that being said, the signal-caller must assume complete charge from the outset and install a sense of belief among his teammates that wasn’t evident previously.

This won’t be easy against such an outstanding defense. But it’s the only way Darnold can perform up to the moderate level anticipated.