Sam Darnold is already off to a hot start in Carolina, leading the Panthers to a 3-0 start for the first time since the 2015 season -- the year the franchise reached Super Bowl 50. Darnold completed 23 of 34 passes for 304 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions while rushing for two touchdowns in Carolina's 24-9 victory over the Houston Texans.
Darnold recorded his second consecutive 300-yard passing game in just his third game with the Panthers, something he never accomplished in 38 games with the Jets. Darnold had just four 300-yard passing games with the Jets and already has two with the Panthers. He never had a multi-rushing touchdown game in his career prior to Thursday night and already has three in three games with Carolina. Darnold had just five rushing touchdowns in his three seasons with the Jets.
Through three games, Darnold has completed 68.2 percent of his passes for 888 yards with three touchdowns and an interception (99.0 passer rating). He has combined for six touchdowns in that stretch. Darnold has won as many games with the Panthers (three) as he did in his last 13 games with the Jets.
Darnold already tied his career high in 300-yard passing games in a season (two), stepping up when Carolina needed him most. Per NFL Next Gen Stats, Darnold finished 9 of 11 on passes that traveled 10-plus air yards, finishing with 198 passing yards.
Darnold joined Cam Newton as the only players in franchise history to throw for 300 yards and rush for two touchdowns in a game. Newton accomplished the feat twice, once in 2011 and the final time in 2012.
The Panthers are thriving with their reclamation project of Darnold, who finally is living up to his immense potential.
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