Losing running back Christian McCaffrey to injury last season helped sink the Panthers’ season, but it didn’t sink them on Thursday night against the Texans.
The Panthers improved to 3-0 with a 24-9 win fueled in large part by the play of quarterback Sam Darnold. Darnold went 23-of-34 for 304 yards and ran for a pair of touchdowns and his play was strongest in the second half of the game. He was 10-of-14 for 146 yards while leading the Panthers on three straight scoring drives before running out the clock at the end of the game.
“We got a good one, man,” Erving said, via the team’s website. “We’ve got a good one, and he’s only going to get better. It’s always hard playing without one of your best players, but Sam stepped up and did a tremendous job tonight.”
It’s unclear how long McCaffrey will be out, but Darnold’s play gives reason to think that the team will weather his absence more easily this time around.