4 bold predictions for the Carolina Panthers vs. Steelers in Week 15
By Dean Jones
Sam Darnold scores passing and rushing TDs
The Carolina Panthers seem to have found the right formula with Sam Darnold. It’s been an encouraging two games since the quarterback was installed into the starting lineup at the expense of Baker Mayfield, who was never a great fit and is now looking to make an impression with the Los Angeles Rams.
For Darnold, the objective is clear. All the Panthers are looking for is efficiency and strong communication at the line of scrimmage, which has been evident consistently en route to a 2-0 record under center.
This is better than many hoped based on Darnold’s career to date. There are still processing flaws and some hesitancy in terms of conviction, but Carolina is insulating the player well behind a tremendous offensive line and their run-first mentality to ease many concerns.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will know what’s coming and like nothing more than physical football. If this restricts the likes of D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard, then the onus will be on Darnold to propel the Panthers when they need him most.
Whether he can do this is the million-dollar question. But if Darnold can throw and run for touchdowns in the face of Pittsburgh’s experienced defense, it could make a big difference in the overall outcome and provide extra confidence in the quarterback moving forward.