4 bold predictions for the Carolina Panthers vs. Broncos in Week 12

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Brian Burns
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Brian Burns /
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Carolina Panthers
(Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Sam Darnold leads the Carolina Panthers to victory

Perhaps it was inevitable that Sam Darnold was chosen as the team’s starting quarterback after such a dismal performance from Baker Mayfield in Week 12. The quarterback rollercoaster takes another drastic turn for the Carolina Panthers this weekend, but whether the USC product can seize the moment and win the job down the stretch remains to be seen.

Darnold’s production in 2021 following his trade from the New York Jets was disastrous for the most part. This led the Panthers down a different path for the third straight offseason, but injuries and poor performance mean he’ll now get another shot at convincing people he can successfully lead an NFL franchise.

The players and Steve Wilks believe in Darnold. His presence under center could also open things up schematically on offense, with Ben McAdoo having little to no confidence in Mayfield’s ability to move the chains.

The No. 3 overall selection in 2018 has the arm talent and is a threat running the football. However, processing, decision-making, and footwork are complications that haven’t gone away throughout his career and it’ll be interesting to see what – if anything – has altered in Darnold’s game.

Carolina is counting on Darnold to lead them to victory. Something that isn’t entirely out of the question if the signal-caller gets this offense off to a fast start.

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