It goes without saying that Sam Darnold is an entirely new quarterback since leaving the New York Jets for the Carolina Panthers.

Following a disappointing three-year stint in New York, Darnold is seemingly rejuvenated with the Panthers. Leading Carolina to a 3-0 start to the 2021 NFL  season, Darnold completed 68.2% of his passes and threw for three touchdowns with only one interception. In fact, he already had half as many 300-yard passing games in three games as he did in three years with the Jets.

But it’s what he’s done on the ground that’s perhaps the most impressive thing of all. On Sunday, Darnold rushed for a touchdown to bring the Panthers even against the Dallas Cowboys.

He would quickly follow that score up with another rushing touchdown to take the lead. In doing so, he score his fifth rushing touchdown of the season, making him the NFL’s leader in rushing scores.

Not only that but Darnold is now the only NFL quarterback to rush for five touchdowns in his first four games of a season in the Super Bowl era. Not Michael Vick, not Lamar Jackson, not Randall Cunningham…Sam Darnold.

Chances are that pace will slow down but it is pretty wild to see how much Darnold has progressed in such a short amount of time. That, or, how much the Jets were truly holding him back.

About Sean Keeley

Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, Neighborhoods.com, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle.