Panthers bench Newton, will start Darnold at QB vs. Saints

Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold passes against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Rusty Jones)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Panthers coach Matt Rhule says Sam Darnold will start at quarterback on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints instead of 2015 league MVP Cam Newton.

Newton is 0-5 as Carolina’s starting quarterback this year and has lost 13 straight starts as the Panthers starting QB dating back to the 2018 season. Darnold started the season 3-0 but has a 1-5 record in his last six starts.

He led the Panthers to a 26-7 win over the Saints in Week 2, completing 26 of 38 passes for 305 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

Rhule called that his best game of the season.

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