Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold has not been a starter-caliber player since the New York Jets selected him No. 3 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft.
After some initial success in his first season with the Panthers, the ugly Darnold has shown up over the past several weeks.
The former USC standout entered Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots having accounted for four touchdowns against eight turnovers over the course of the past five games. It’s not a coincidence that Carolina has lost four of five since starting the season 3-0.
Going up against a darn good Patriots defense, Sam Darnold showed us exactly why he’ll never be a franchise guy. He threw interceptions on three consecutive possessions in the third quarter, leading directly to a multi-score deficit.
The first one was a pick-six into the hands of Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson.
We’re not even sure what to do with that one. With Carolina looking to get closer or even potentially tie the game deep in New England’s territory, the dude rolled left and threw late to the outside. The ball went right into the hands of Jackson, who returned it 88 yards for a touchdown and a two-score Pats lead.
On Carolina’s very next drive, Darnold threw an interception right into the hands of newly-acquired Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins. While it wasn’t as bad as the first pick, it was downright ugly.
To make matters even worse, Darnold then threw another interception into the hands of Jackson with Carolina driving early in the fourth quarter. Three possessions. Three interceptions.
That’s just absolutely brutal stuff right there. One now has to wonder whether Darnold will be benched for P.J. Walker for the second time in three weeks. You just can’t give the ball away like that and expect to win.