There must be something about MetLife Stadium that brings out the worst in Sam Darnold.
With the Carolina Panthers trailing the Giants 15-3 at the start of the fourth quarter, head coach Matt Rhule opted to put backup quarterback P.J. Walker in for Darnold after the 24-year-old quarterback struggled to get anything going offensively.
Darnold was 16 of 25 for 111 yards and threw one interception, leading the Panthers to just three points over the first three quarters against the last-place Giants. He watched from the sideline as Walker entered the game, clearly a benching and not injury-related.
It has been a deteriorating situation for Darnold in the Panthers in recent weeks.
Darnold entered Sunday’s game having thrown six interceptions to four touchdown passes in his last three games, completing just 54.7% of his pass attempts and averaging 228.3 yards per game.
It’s a stark contrast to his first three games, in which he completed 68% of his passes, throwing three touchdowns to one interception and rushing for three more scores while averaging 296 yards per game.
Coincidentally (or perhaps not), Darnold's drop in production has come at the same time that the Panthers have been without star running back Christian McCaffrey.
The Panthers traded for the former first-round pick this offseason after he never quite panned out for the Jets after New York drafted him in 2018.