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While the Jets and Zach Wilson are off to a bumpy start, Sam Darnold has begun his career in Carolina with a bang.
The ex-Jet and his new team are 3-0, and Darnold is a huge reason why. With wins over the Jets, Saints and Texans, the Panthers haven’t beaten any great teams, but Darnold has played clean, winning football. The sample is small, but he looks like an entirely different quarterback now that he’s free of Adam Gase and the lackluster talent the Jets surrounded him with for three years.
Darnold’s early success in Carolina doesn’t necessarily mean the Jets were wrong to trade him and draft Wilson. Restarting the quarterback position’s contract clock was the practical move for Gang Green, and a change of scenery felt best for all involved.
However, Darnold’s booming start with the Panthers does highlight just how bad he had it in New York. He made plenty of mistakes on his own, but these six stats make it clear he didn’t have much help with the Jets.
Digging His New Digs
If you're mentioned alongside Kurt Warner and one of his MVP seasons, you're doing something right. Darnold's new team couldn't agree more. https://twitter.com/ESPNStatsInfo/status/1441252368960536582?s=20
More Wins Than 2020
Darnold has been a Panther for just three games, and he already has more wins this season than he did a year ago for Gase's lowly Jets. https://twitter.com/BruceBeck4NY/status/1441240388119924738?s=20
It was often brought up how rarely Darnold reached 300 yards passing in New York. That has not been a problem so far in Carolina. https://twitter.com/MikeClayNFL/status/1441236149058478087?s=20
Back to Back
In fact, Darnold has thrown for over 300 yards in back-to-back games. He never did that in 38 games with the Jets. https://twitter.com/NFLonCBS/status/1441235861178224651?s=20
Darnold has also been orchestrating long drives for the Panthers, an infrequent occurrence in New York. https://twitter.com/RichCimini/status/1441241793551474696?s=20
Finally, Darnold has yet to trail with Carolina. Yes, that's partly due to the competition he's faced, but it's also a testament to his strong play and the improved talent around him. https://twitter.com/billbarnwell/status/1441412654266978304?s=20 [listicle id=657818] [listicle id=666705]