The Carolina Panthers faced plenty of skepticism for the Sam Darnold trade this offseason. Needless to say, the franchise is feeling pretty confident in Darnold right now against the New Orleans Saints.
Facing a Saints’ defense that caused Aaron Rodgers to have one of the worst starts in his NFL career, it didn’t take long for Darnold to get cooking. He led a game-opening touchdown drive, covering 75 yards on five plays and connecting early for his first touchdown of Week 2.
The Panthers immediately forced a three-and-out for New Orleans, giving Darnold the football back. While his second drive stalled, Darnold responded with two scoring drives on the next series. With time ticking down in the second quarter, he connected with DJ Moore to give Carolina a 17-0 lead.
A change of scenery seems to be doing Darnold some good. In his first six quarters away from the New York Jets, the former No. 3 pick has completed 40-of-55 passes for 495 passing yards and four total touchdowns. Meanwhile, Zach Wilson is struggling mightily in Week 2.
As the Panthers stormed out to a 17-0 halftime lead against the Saints, NFL fans reacted to Darnold’s incredible performance.