4 major observations from Sam Darnold’s performance at the Bucs

(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) Sam Darnold
(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) Sam Darnold /
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Sam Darnold
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Sam Darnold had some jaw-dropping moments

It wasn’t all bad from Sam Darnold in Week 17.

Far from it, actually.

The former USC star produced some mesmerizing throws throughout the contest. D.J. Moore was the main beneficiary, going over 100 yards through the air and also getting another score as his ongoing chemistry with Darnold flourished once again.

Darnold’s touchdown pass to Shi Smith was another notable highlight. But when push came to shove, it wasn’t enough to keep Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the rearview mirror.

The quarterback carries the can. This is the NFL’s most important playing position and with so much on the line, Darnold should rightfully be scrutinized for not taking better care of the football in critical situations.

With that being said, Darnold’s stats indicate things are moving along encouragingly. Even if the final result didn’t go Carolina’s way.

The No. 3 overall selection in 2018 finished the contest with a 62.16 percent completion success rate for 341 passing yards, three touchdowns, one interception, and a 108.1 passer rating. He was sacked twice, gained 20 rushing yards, and coughed up two fumbles.

At the end of the day, winning was all that mattered in this one. Darnold didn’t stop fighting, but it was an uphill battle late in proceedings.