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.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold passes during the first half of an NFL football game...
Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold passes during the first half of an NFL football game between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Rusty Jones)(Rusty Jones | AP)
Published: Nov. 27, 2022 at 4:13 PM EST

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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