10 quick thoughts from Carolina Panthers win vs. Broncos in Week 12

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) D.J. Moore
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) D.J. Moore /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Carolina Panthers got efficiency from Sam Darnold

All eyes were on Sam Darnold as he took the field for the first time in 2022. The Carolina Panthers didn’t have much choice given Baker Mayfield’s dismal outing in Week 11, but the efficiency displayed by the former USC star could mean an extended period under center down the stretch.

Darnold didn’t force anything, took shots downfield when they were there, and kept things ticking over behind a strong running attack. The Denver Broncos defense was among the league’s best heading into the contest, but an improved offensive line worked wonders for the signal-caller as he grew more comfortable with every rep.

Carolina Panthers restoring pride back into BoA

The Panthers have quietly put together a nice run of home results under Steve Wilks. Their latest triumph in Week 12 was their third-straight success at Bank of America Stadium, which is a far cry from the pathetic form in front of their long-suffering fanbase under Matt Rhule before his firing.

Again, it’s a relatively small sample size. But the strides made by this roster under improved leadership cannot be ignored and with two games left at home versus the Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions, further wins are well within this team’s capabilities.

Steve Wilks enhances head coaching prospects

There is a growing belief that Wilks is going to get the Panthers’ head coaching job beyond 2022. Players are fully on board with his methods and another complete performance in all phases only strengthens his claims to become Rhule’s permanent successor.

David Tepper is reportedly looking for an offensive-minded head coach. But if Wilks gets the chance to appoint his own offensive coordinator and assistants, the Panthers might just be onto something.

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