How Sam Darnold fared in first game action with Panthers

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Former Jets quarterback Sam Darnold had his first action for the Panthers in a 20-3 preseason loss to the Ravens in Charlotte, N.C.

Darnold, who only handled Carolina’s first drive, started at the Baltimore 33 after Derrick Brown tipped Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley’s pass at the line of scrimmage and Haason Reddick grabbed the easy interception.

But after a 16-yard completion from Darnold to former Jets teammate Robby Anderson and a 9-yard run by Chuba Hubbard, the Panthers drive quickly stalled. With a first-and-goal at the Ravens 6, Darnold threw one pass away while under pressure and the Ravens stuffed three Hubbard running plays to take over on downs.

“We just were going to run our base stuff,” Panthers coach Matt Rhule said. “We didn’t have our goal-line packages out there and all of those little things.”

Darnold said that didn’t matter.

Sam Darnold
AP

“We should be able to score with our base plays,” Darnold said. “We should have punched it in.”

The Panthers didn’t play running back Christian McCaffrey, who has 29 touchdowns rushing in 51 games.

Darnold said it was good to get his feet wet in a game and hopes to play more in Carolina’s third preseason game.

“We just want to continue to build off that first drive — obviously score touchdowns — but just continue to see a good operation, getting in and out of the huddle and making the right checks and everyone being together and then punching it into the end zone,” Darnold said.

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