4 major observations from Sam Darnold’s performance vs. Steelers

(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) Sam Darnold
(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) Sam Darnold /
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Sam Darnold
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Carolina Panthers’ loss is not all on Sam Darnold

The quarterback normally carries the can more than most in defeat. That’s been the case for Sam Darnold during his time with the Carolina Panthers, but this time was a little different.

Could Darnold have done more? Of course – especially when the Panthers got into the business end of the field.

But putting this loss entirely on his shoulders is ignoring the bigger picture.

Carolina’s defense didn’t show up, the offensive line was poor, and the running game became non-existent when needed most. Throw all those components into the mix and it’s not hard to see why the Panthers ended their unbeaten run at Bank of America Stadium under interim head coach Steve Wilks.

Darnold finished the game with a 60.87 percent completion rate for 255 passing yards, one touchdown, no interceptions, and a passer rating of 108.1. He was sacked four times.

A third-straight fixture without turning the football over is a testament to Darnold’s improved decision-making. But in all honesty, he was fighting an uphill battle due to frailties elsewhere.

This was also acknowledged by Wilks in his post-game presser, even if he didn’t commit to Darnold as their starter in Week 16 against the Detroit Lions. If the coach goes back to P.J. Walker, it would be incredibly harsh.

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