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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Sam Darnold
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Sam Darnold must get D.J. Moore involved

The lack of chemistry between D.J. Moore and Baker Mayfield was disappointing and astonishing in equal measure. There wasn’t much time for the duo to hone cohesion this summer thanks to the quarterback’s late arrival and the needless competition with Sam Darnold, but they never really got on the same page.

This was once again evident during the Carolina Panthers’ woeful offensive display at the Baltimore Ravens. Moore was called out by interim head coach Steve Wilks for not bringing in more receptions, but Mayfield is also carrying the can for the team’s failings and the onus will now be on Darnold to steady the ship.

Whether the No. 3 overall selection in 2018 is capable of such feats is doubtful. However, there were moments in 2021 when the signal-caller and Moore truly hit it off, which has to continue in Week 12 for both to thrive.

Moore has the talent, we all know that. The wideout’s gone over 1,000 receiving yards in three consecutive campaigns despite the lack of stable production under center, so just why he’s been on the relative fringes within Ben McAdoo’s scheme remains a mystery.

If Darnold wants to stand any chance of seizing this opportunity, then Moore must become the focal point of their passing attack. However, that will be easier said than done when one considers the supreme skill set possessed by Denver Broncos cornerback Patrick Surtain II.