Why can’t Sam Darnold and Robby Anderson be friends?
For most New York Jets fans, the Sam Darnold experiment ended relatively quickly into the 2020 NFL season. In 12 games, Darnold threw for more interceptions than touchdowns and completed less than 60 percent of his passes.
Luckily for the hopeless fans, general manager Joe Douglas traded the struggling quarterback to the Carolina Panthers for a 2021 sixth-round pick, a 2022 second-round pick, and a 2022 fourth-round pick.
Now, after a quick honeymoon that lasted a few weeks to start the season, tough times were shown on the television screen Sunday. Former Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson couldn’t help but scream at Darnold following the latter’s third interception of the afternoon.
Robby and Sam. pic.twitter.com/RIZLzoZZLr
— John Ellis (@1PantherPlace) November 7, 2021
— NYJ Today (@NYJToday) November 7, 2021
Why can’t they be friends?
Sam Darnold and Robby Anderson: "Why Can't We Be Friends?"
— Jets X-Factor (@jetsxfactor) November 7, 2021
The Panthers and head coach Matt Rhule hoped that a new environment along with more talented weapons would turn Darnold into the quarterback he was always supposed to be.
Unfortunately for Darnold and the Panthers, that plan hasn’t worked out as planned. After a 3-0 start, Carolina lost five of their next six, and Darnold has been a big reason why.
On Sunday, New England marched into Charlotte and flat-out dominated the deflated Carolina squad. Darnold, who has historically struggled against the Patriots, threw three interceptions in the 24-6 loss—which drew the ire of Anderson.
The former Jet teammates have struggled in 2021 after a year apart. Anderson signed with Carolina in 2020 and put up career numbers. With Teddy Bridgewater at QB, Anderson caught 95 passes for 1,096 yards and three touchdowns.
Prior to the 2021 season, however, his former quarterback in New York was traded to Carolina where the two would have a chance to reconnect.
So far this season, the duo has failed to live up to expectations. Through nine games, Anderson has 19 catches for 206 yards and two touchdowns. On pace for roughly 36 catches and 391 yards, nearly a third of his 2020 receiving numbers.
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After Sunday’s nightmare performance, Darnold has thrown nine interceptions against the Belichick-led Patriots in four games.
Darnold is certainly on a short leash in Carolina going forward, having been benched already a couple of weeks ago. The Panthers also picked up Darnold’s fifth-year option before this season and will owe the quarterback $18.9 million fully guaranteed in 2022.