There was a lot of mixed reaction when the Panthers traded for Sam Darnold back during the 2021 off-season, to be the starting QB for the Panthers. While in New York, Darnold was maligned by poor coaching, little supporting talent, which led to him being one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL. Still, Matt Rhule saw something in Darnold, to make a move for him. After a 3-0 start, Rhule was looking like he made the right decision, but an avalanche of mistakes in the second against the Dallas Cowboys, brought back the Darnold everyone saw in New York, and it hasn't been the same since. This season, Carolina is 4-6 in games started by Darnold, as he has thrown for just 7 touchdowns, against 12 interceptions, as he has struggled to protect the football,even going back to his college days at USC. NFL writer for MMQB Conor Orr, joined Wilson & Norfleet earlier this afternoon, and had this to say about Darnold's play:
It is officially due or die time for the Carolina Panthers, and maybe Matt Rhule. Carolina is coming off their scheduled by week, sitting at 5-7, and just recently fired their offensive coordinator, Joe Brady. Even with being two games below .500, the Panthers are only 1 game out of the final playoff spot in the NFC heading into Sunday's matchup with the Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta brings with them a 5-7 record as well, and have won all of their games away from Atlanta, including winning in London earlier this season. It is well documented that Panthers QB, who is from southern Georgia, grew up a fan of the Falcons, and idolized Micheal Vick as a kid. Earlier today on Wilson & Norfleet, Carl Dukes a radio host from 92.9 The Game in Atlanta, joined the show to talk about Sunday's game and Newton specifically. Dukes expressed that Newton will be ready to play on Sunday, saying: "You're going to get Cam's best effort on Sunday, simply from a pride standpoint. I don't know what the game plan is, but I do know this; he gets up for the Falcons, and he will be ready" In his career, Newton is 6-9 against his division rival, having thrown for 21 touchdowns against 16 interceptions in their 15 career games against Atlanta. Carolina is set to host the Falcons, Sunday at 1 PM at Bank of America Stadium.