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Baker Mayfield started with the Carolina Panthers and passed his first major test

Baker Mayfield started with the Carolina Panthers and passed his first major test

Baker Mayfield I got the starting nod for Carolina Panthers In their first pre-season game on Saturday. Against this distinction, tick an important box opposite Washington leaders He appears healthy, confident, and (mostly) sharp on his one drive a day.

That drive eventually stalled in a failed quick exchange, leaving the Panthers to kick a field goal in what was a modest debut for the #1 overall pick in the 2018 draft. In this short appearance, Mayfield had 4 of 7 passes for 45 yards, including That also one drop that hit a wide distance in the hands, although it would have been difficult.

Whatever the case, it was a much-needed positive start to the midfield in the competition with Sam Darnold Two players trying to get their careers back on track in the last seasons of their rookie contracts. For his part, Darnold was able to take advantage of a short field after a turn in Washington, making a nice 8-yard wide landing. Richard Higgins of his back foot while facing pressure. Darnold sat the rest of the game after his lead.

“Obviously Sam [Darnold] Bring us to the end zone, Baker [Mayfield] Rule said after the match. “It looked like both guys were playing really well.” Rolle also said that both Darnold and Mayfield seemed “on the lead,” but said he should look at the tape to see more.

For Mayfield, arguably a strong start was his first positive moment since his negative divorce with the Cleveland Browns this off season. for him Commerce in Carolina It was triggered by Brown’s handling of embattled quarterback Deshaun Watson, leaving Mayfield’s voice swaying in the wind as he repeatedly asked to be dealt. The result was Carolina’s eventual acquisition of low stakes, along with some much-needed simplicity for the quarterback.

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It was on display in hidden ways on Saturday. First and foremost, it was a brief glimpse showing the Panthers that Mayfield is a healthy version of himself on the field – something Cleveland couldn’t really see in 2021. It was also the first shot of Mayfield translating that health into confidence, which doesn’t seem to be an issue. Because he moved to create some plays while taking the aforementioned end zone shot in tight coverage.

While there isn’t much to read, his debut on Saturday was undoubtedly a step forward and de-stressing from his first live shot in a different outfit. Mayfield’s next goal will be to absorb Carolina’s attack during the fight with Darnold, although it appears Mayfield’s mission may already be lost.

“Day and night are different, that’s for sure,” Mayfield said after the match regarding his comfort level with Ben McAdoo’s attack now compared to the start of training camp. “I’m more comfortable now. Coach McAdoo is going to give us the keys to changing things up on the field. His saying is that if he doesn’t trust us, he won’t trust himself. So I’m a lot more comfortable now, and I think that kinda permeates throughout our crime.”

Carolina’s next pre-season game will be at the New England Patriots on August 19. Mayfield and Darnold are expected to see more play in that game, with a first player likely to be named after that week.

Baker Mayfield kicked off the Carolina Panthers’ first pre-season game on Saturday. (Photo by Scott Taich/Getty Images)