4 Panthers with everything to gain from final two games in 2022

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Raheem Blackshear
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Raheem Blackshear /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Sam Darnold – Carolina Panthers QB

Sam Darnold has gone from one of the biggest draft busts in recent memory to a feel-good story in just four games. This is nothing short of incredible when one factors in his previous struggles before getting a supreme vote of confidence from Steve Wilks.

Darnold’s been almost flawless since replacing Baker Mayfield under center. The Carolina Panthers have a stable – although well-insulated – quarterback that can manage games, be efficient with the football, and make big throws when needed.

This is all that’s required of Darnold right now, especially if Carolina’s running attack gets going early. But it’s clearly a recipe for success and something the signal-caller is benefitting from enormously.

When all hope seemed lost, the talk is now centered on whether Darnold deserves a new deal from the Panthers rather than getting a chance elsewhere in free agency. While that’s still up in the air, the former USC star can enhance this notion with a productive end to the campaign that could end up with a shock NFC South title for good measure.

The Panthers still need to acquire a long-term quarterback solution at the earliest possible opportunity. However, if Darnold can maintain his outstanding recent progress, then he becomes a better bridge option than most.