It appears all Sam Darnold needed to do to turn his NFL career around was to get as far away from the New York Jets as possible. On Thursday night, he improved his record as the Carolina Panthers’ starting quarterback to 3-0.
Darnold was sharp against the Houston Texans, completing 23-of-34 passes for 304 yards. He also had eight carries for 11 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Carolina’s offense has been very efficient since Darnold got there, but NFL fans have noticed that wide receiver Robby Anderson isn’t receiving many targets. Most people are convinced that Anderson isn’t one of Darnold’s primary targets because he reminds the former No. 3 pick of the Jets.
“Darnold won’t throw to Robby Anderson because he reminds him of the Jets,” ESPN’s Mike Clay tweeted.
“Robby Anderson must remind Darnold of his time with the Jets,” Kevin Cole of Pro Football Focus said.”Won’t even look at him.”
“Sam Darnold must think if he throws to Robby Anderson that Adam Gase will show up and it gives him ptsd,” Jamey Eisenberg of CBS Sports wrote.
Darnold won't throw to Robby Anderson because he reminds him of the Jets
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) September 24, 2021
Robby Anderson must remind Darnold of his time with the Jets. Won't even look at him
— Kevin Cole (@KevinColePFF) September 24, 2021
Sam Darnold must think if he throws to Robby Anderson that Adam Gase will show up and it gives him ptsd.
— Jamey Eisenberg (@JameyEisenberg) September 24, 2021
Through the first three weeks of the 2021 season, Anderson has been targeted only 11 times. He has caught five of those targets for 103 yards and a touchdown. Anderson caught 95 passes for 1,096 yards and three touchdowns last season.
DJ Moore has been Darnold’s go-to option thus far, hauling in 22 passes for 285 yards and a touchdown. Even rookie wideout Terrace Marshall Jr. has been targeted more than Anderson.
Perhaps we’ll see Anderson’s role on the Panthers expand as the season progresses. For now, it seems like Darnold is trying his hardest to avoid anyone who has ever associated with the Jets.