Sam Darnold stomps former team as Panthers top Jets in Week 1
Darnold, 24, threw for 279 yards and connected with former Jets teammate Robby Anderson for a monster 57-yard touchdown pass to defeat the Jets 19-14 on Sunday afternoon.
In his debut with the Panthers, Darnold shook off some early–game jitters that resulted in a turnover early in the first quarter before scoring a touchdown himself.
The Jets traded Darnold in the offseason to make way for No. 2 overall pick Zach Willson who, by contrast, struggled to find his footing until the final minutes of the third quarter.
Darnold utilized a healthy Christian McCaffrey who racked up 187 yards from scrimmage on 30 touches after missing most of the 2020 season with multiple injuries. The Jets defense struggled to stop the star running back as he looks to return to his former self.
In 2019 McCaffery totaled 1,387 rushing yards for 15 touchdowns.
New York’s defense was not nearly as bad as its offense.
The former BYU standout completed 20 of 37 passes for 258 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception and was sacked six times. He finally found his footing late in the third quarter with an eight-play, 70-yard drive for the Jets resulting in their first touchdown of the game.
Wilson would run the ball for a 2-point conversion, cutting Carolina’s lead in half.
He would connect with wide receiver Corey Davis twice for two touchdowns but the late push wasn’t enough for the Jets to pull out a last-minute victory.
Wilson looked rattled after getting sacked hard by 320-pound defensive tackle Derrick Brown with just two minutes left in the game. The Jets could also be in trouble after offensive tackle Mekhi Becton was carted off the field with a knee injury after going down during New York’s first scoring drive.
Darnold starts his career in Carolina 1-0 after compiling a 13-25 record in New York.