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 a solid day overall

There was nothing spectacular about Sam Darnold’s production in Week 14. But the quarterback didn’t get in his own way and provided a big enough presence to lead the Carolina Panthers to victory.

Darnold ended the contest with a 58.33 percent completion rate for 120 passing yards, one touchdown, and an 85.4 passer rating. More importantly, the signal-caller played his second straight game without a turnover, which always helps.

Carolina made its intentions to run the football known throughout. This makes life more manageable for Darnold, who is thriving with better protection and with a true running force to call upon in times of trouble.

After so much mediocrity or worse over the last three seasons, there is now hope under Steve Wilks. This is also having a positive effect on Darnold, who is enjoying a mini-renaissance after being tasked with less in the way of responsibility since returning.

Keeping this up down the stretch is of critical importance. The Panthers are playing meaningful football in December for the first time since their last playoff appearance and with the NFC South title in sight, Darnold needs to keep this up down the stretch for the unlikeliest of postseason berths.