3 reasons Sam Darnold’s hot start with Panthers after Jets disaster is for real
Sam Darnold and the Carolina Panthers are off to a hot start, winning their first two games. Darnold has looked like a different quarterback in these first two games, while the New York Jets are still a disaster.
Although Darnold has played well, Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has struggled. Wilson threw four interceptions against the New England Patriots. It looks like the Jets’ problem was never Darnold, but rather the surrounding talent as Wilson has the same struggles.
With that said, here are three reasons for Sam Darnold’s hot start with the Panthers.
Sam Darnold Panthers keys:
3. Having a good coach
Darnold had an unfortunate situation starting with the Jets as a young quarterback. The biggest problem with the Jets was the coaching throughout Darnold’s tenure. Adam Gase was not a great head coach for the Jets and hindered Darnold’s development.
Darnold now has Matt Rhule as his head coach, who has shown great promise as the Panthers head coach. Rhule is an underrated head coach that has prepared his young core for a great season. The defense and offense have both played with great intensity and effort.
With Darnold now having a good coach, he is bound to keep developing.
2. Having a defense to back Darnold up
During Darnold’s time with the Jets, he had never had a defense to back him up. The Panthers’ defense has been elite through the first two weeks. They allowed 14 points in week one to the Jets and only 7 points to the New Orleans Saints this week.
The young defensive core has shown out so far this season. Rhule has brought his defensive expertise to the Panthers and transformed them into an elite unit. Having a defense to back Darnold up has helped him not have to play hero ball.
1. Having good offensive weapons
The biggest key for Darnold’s success is finally having elite offensive weapons. Darnold was forced to try to make plays due to the lack of surrounding talent. With the Panthers, Darnold has the luxury of just making the right play every time.
His weapons include superstar running back Christian McCaffery and receivers D.J. Moore and Robbie Anderson. McCaffery has gotten back to his elite play in both the rushing and receiving game. He had 24 rushes for 72 yards and a touchdown, and five receptions for 65 yards.
These elite weapons have allowed Darnold to play relaxed and composed. Darnold threw for 305 yards and two touchdowns against the Saints but did throw an interception. Despite the interception, Darnold had a fantastic game and looked like the player that was advertised coming out of USC.
The Panthers are a good team and could sneak into the playoffs. They are in a tough division with the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Panthers’ best shot of making the postseason is through the Wild Card, as the Bucs will likely win the division.
If Darnold continues to play at a high level, the Panthers will be a great team. Rhule’s Panthers have young talent on both sides of the ball, which has propelled them to a fast start. The Panthers have a quick turn around this week as they are playing the Houston Texans on Thursday. They should pick up a win against the Texans as their quarterback Tyrod Taylor was injured on Sunday. The Texans put in rookie Davis Mills, who was inconsistent.
Look for Darnold and the Panthers to continue playing well moving forward in the season.