Sam Darnold scores 2 TDs in return, Panthers defeat Broncos 23-10
The Carolina defense held QB Russell Wilson and Denver to three points until later in the fourth quarter.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - In his first start of the season, Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold scored two touchdowns and helped lead the team to a victory over the Denver Broncos (3-8) on Sunday afternoon.
Darnold, who started the season on the injured reserve with a sprained ankle, received the starting nod this week after interim head coach Steve Wilks decided to bench QB Baker Mayfield.
While the Panthers (4-9) offense still struggled some against a tough Broncos defense, Darnold helped provide a spark to Carolina’s offense that was much-needed in the 23-10 win.
The Carolina defense held QB Russell Wilson and Denver to three points until later in the fourth quarter. Defensive end Brian Burns sacked Wilson twice along with a pass defended, and Marquis Haynes Sr. had two passes defended and a sack.
One of the sacks by Burns turned into a fumble, which defensive end Yetur Grosd-Matos recovered, leading to a field goal for Carolina.
Last season, Darnold started 11 games for the Panthers and struggled with a 59.9. completion rating along with nine touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
He made the most of his opportunity Sunday, throwing a five-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver DJ Moore in the first quarter and recovering his own fumble for a rushing TD in the third quarter.
In total, Darnold finished the game 11-for-18 passing for 164 yards and a passing touchdown.
Running back D’Onta Foreman rushed for 113 yards on 24 carries and Moore had 103 receiving yards.
Carolina will now have a bye week before traveling to face the Seattle Seahawks on the road Dec. 11.
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