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Matt Rhule gets honest on Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold QB battle following Panthers preseason opener

Panthers, Matt Rhule Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold

The Baker Mayfield vs. Sam Darnold QB battle has been a major headline during training camp. And it will remain a tending topic in the preseason. Despite many people anticipating Mayfield winning the job, and Mayfield starting the Panthers’ preseason opener, head coach Matt Rhule remained reluctant to officially name a starter. Rhule shared his honest thoughts on Mayfield and Darnold’s performance in Carolina’s 23-21 victory, per Panthers beat writer Sheena Quick.

“We will go back and look at this tape,” Rhule said. “Obviously Sam got us in the end zone, Baker led us down the field. Looked like both guys played well in terms of production.”

Baker Mayfield finished the preseason opener with 4 completions and 45 yards. Darnold had just 2 completions but fired a touchdown. In limited action, both performed fairly well as Rhule said.

“We won the turnover battle,” Rhule added. “I felt they were both in command. Made the right checks.”

Matt Rhule seems to be impressed by both quarterbacks. However, he recently said that the regular season starting QB wouldn’t be announced until later in the preseason following the Panthers’ matchup against the New England Patriots.

“I’m not putting a timetable on the quarterback position until after we get back from the Patriots week,” Rhule said. “The Patriots week is a true litmus test for us. That will really show us where guys are.”

For now, both QBs are getting the job done. But the pressure is on Sam Darnold to prove he should be the starter over Baker Mayfield. Otherwise, Mayfield will win this QB competition.