4 major observations from Sam Darnold’s performance at Seahawks

(Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images) Sam Darnold
(Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images) Sam Darnold /
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Sam Darnold
(Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Sam Darnold had trouble with pressure

One thing that’s been the hallmark of Sam Darnold’s erratic career so far is an inability to successfully distribute the football under pressure. This is when his decision-making becomes poor and something that obviously didn’t go unnoticed by Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll during his planning.

The Carolina Panthers offensive line had an average afternoon compared to what we’ve witnessed throughout the campaign. Seattle’s exotic blitz packages and outstanding coverage prowess made life difficult for Darnold on occasions, which threatened to complicate matters in the second half.

Darnold was sacked two times and was flustered on many more occasions when the Seahawks penetrated Carolina’s protection. However, there were some impressive runs in the second half once the signal-caller escaped and there was far more composure to his decisions than he’s ever displayed since entering the NFL as the No. 3 overall selection in 2018.

Again, this is a positive step forward for Darnold. He cost his team in big ways under similar duress during his first campaign with the Panthers in 2021, which is a trend that can hopefully continue over the next four games.

There seems to be a newfound maturity where Darnold is concerned since his return to the starting lineup. If the same trend is maintained down the stretch, it could lead to another opportunity in Carolina or elsewhere next season.