The Panthers suffered a late-game meltdown on Sunday, with a blocked punt largely leading to their ultimate 21-18 loss to the Eagles.
But the final blow didn’t come until quarterback Sam Darnold threw his third interception of the game on a two-minute drive where Carolina could have at least tied the game.
Darnold’s first interception led to an Eagles field goal. His second didn’t lead to points, but still halted any chance of scoring.
Carolina was also penalized nine times for 69 yards, which led to Darnold lamenting both the fouls and giveaways after the game.
“We can’t go out there and make mistakes, make penalties, and I can’t go out there and turn the ball over and expect to win,” Darnold said, via Johnathan Alexander of the Charlotte Observer.
Since starting 3-0, the Panthers have now lost their last two games against the Cowboys and Eagles. Darnold has thrown for three touchdowns and five interceptions the last two weeks. He’s also been sacked eight times, as the Panthers have struggled with pass protection.
“I think for me, I just got to keep staying patient,” Darnold said. “I think that’s the biggest thing, is pressing too much.
“When I go out there, I’ve got to understand, let the game come to me.”
There’s still a lot more time for the Panthers to determine whether or not Darnold is their franchise quarterback. And it hasn’t helped that running back Christian McCaffrey‘s hamstring injury has kept him out the last two weeks. But Darnold has to cut down on the turnovers for the Panthers to stay competitive.