4 major observations from Sam Darnold’s performance vs. the Broncos
By Dean Jones
Sam Darnold benefitted from improved OL
It’s been refreshing to see such improvements across the offensive line this season. The Carolina Panthers made some wise investments in key positions during free agency and the 2022 NFL Draft, which has brought a remarkable turnaround in fortunes from a group that is among the league’s most progressive.
This was also the best offensive line Sam Darnold’s ever worked behind. Something that benefitted the quarterback enormously upon his return to competitive action.
Darnold wasn’t sacked once and was rarely under pressure as Carolina’s protection won their individual trench battles convincingly. This is something the USC product has yet to experience throughout his career and enabled a smooth transition back into starting responsibilities.
The Panthers also leaned on the running game heavily as D’Onta Foreman bounced back after a disappointing performance at the Baltimore Ravens. Everything fell into place for Darnold, who didn’t look overawed by the magnitude of the challenge at any stage for good measure.
It’s worth the Panthers examining what Darnold can do over a consistent period behind a top-notch offensive line. If progress continues and Carolina gets more wins on the board, it might alter his career trajectory along the way.