Panthers HC Matt Rule on Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold: 'They were both in charge of Game 1'
The Carolina Panthers' first preseason game didn't offer
a definitive statement in the quarterback contest between
Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold. After Saturday's win
over Washington by 23:21, head coach Matt said his rule:
Mayfield has made the start, but the team is still in the fight
evaluation stage, Rule said.
"No, it was for today, it was just for today," Rule said
of Mayfield's start. Baker took us out on the field and
both guys looked like they played well on the production side.
Let's go back and see where they are.
Mayfield kicked things off, learned a new system and showed
solid progress up front.
The former Browns QB made some good shots while getting hit
behind the ongoing offensive line.He finished 4. -of-7 passes
for 45 yards
in one drive Mayfield's four completions were all under 10 air
yards (0-2 on passes of 10 yards or more).
Mayfield converted several thirds
and shorts and nearly missed Robbie Anderson's
deep shots.Quickly handling a third down to find
an open man could give Mayfield a competitive edge.
Mayfield put the Panthers into the red zone,
but a miss, a snap, and a misunderstanding
with Brandon on his Zilstra stalled the drive,
allowing Carolina to settle for a field goal.
“I thought we moved the ball up the field. He did a good job
moving the ball with his feet and finding checkdowns.
"And we know that we're stuck in the red zone called
game action, the receiver doesn't run the route, it's blocked,
and [Mayfield] has to foul the game. We fumble it and snap
and in the end didn't score.There's still a lot to do but I think
he got the ball moving and started the game with a great
controlled long drive.Looked pretty clean to the end .
Darnold entered in favorable field position after the
defense forced a fumble. Darnold had good ball
location on his first completion to Zylstra.
His second pass was a gorgeous touch throw
off his back foot while getting hit that found
"He took a big hit on the touchdown throw, made a courageous play,
" Rhule said of Darnold. "The hat was on his head, he stepped up and made it."
With Darnold playing just three snaps on his first drive, the incumbent returned
for a second drive. But it lasted three plays -- two runs, and a dirtball from Darnold,
who was under immediate pressure.
P.J. Walker entered as the third quarterback and looked good against Commanders
backups. Walker went 10-of-19 passing for 136 yards and added two runs for
Rookie Matt Corral entered in the fourth quarter. The Ole Miss product completed
his first pass for 11 yards. He struggled from there, however. The third-round rookie
finished 1-of-9 passing and was outplayed by Washington's fifth-round draft pick -- a
UNC product -- Sam Howell.
On the Panthers' game-winning two-minute field goal drive, they went 40 yards
on 11 plays without Corral completing a single pass.
The rookie will have time to work on his development this season and could
use more reps in the final two preseason games.
Darnold entered favorable field position after the defense forced a fumble.
Darnold had good ball position in Zylstra's first finish. His second pass
was a beautiful touch throw from the back foot on the hit that
found Rashard Higgins to touch down.
"He hit big on his throw for a touchdown and played bravely,"
Ruhl said of Darnold. "The hat was on his head and he stepped forward
and made it."
Darnold snapped on his first drive, as he only played three, so the incumbent
was his second. back to the drive. But that took three games — two runs
and a dirtball from Darnold, who was under immediate pressure.
in Walker started as his third quarterback and looked good against the
commander's backup. Walker went 10-of-19 for 136 yards and added two
carries for 12 yards. His Matt Corral, a
rookie, came out in Q4.
The product of his miss Ole completed the first pass for 11 yards. However,
he has struggled since then. A third-round rookie, he finished the game with
his one pass in the ninth, and Washington's fifth-round draft pick — UNC Product
— Sam he was beaten by Howell.
His 2-minute field goal for the Panthers as he scored the win on his drive,
they achieved 40 yards rushing in his 11th game, and Corral made a pass he
didn't complete a single .
the rookie has time to work on his development this season and could use
more iterations in his final two games of the preseason.